A lot of people ride e-scooters in Denver — and a new study shows a lot of them are getting seriously hurt

Touted as a last-mile solution to improve city public transit systems, at least 3 people a day show up at Denver Health’s emergency room with scooter-related injuries, new study shows

William Allstetter
Colorado Sun
Electric scooter riders on a sidewalk in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood in December 2022.
Olivia Sun/The Colorado Sun via Report for America

People in Denver ride rentable scooters an average of more than 17,000 times a day, sometimes as many as 30,000 times a day, according to the city’s Micromobility Dashboard.

And while the city says the electric scooters have replaced about 4.2 million automobile trips on Denver’s busiest streets, a grimmer statistic tempers that progress: Since the scooters first appeared in May 2018, more than 2,500 riders have arrived at Denver Health Emergency Department with scooter-related injuries, including broken bones and fractured skulls. And there have been five deaths. 

At Craig Hospital, the local center for brain and spinal cord injuries, patients with traumatic brain injuries sustained in scooter accidents are now a “common occurrence,” according to Eric Spier, medical director for the hospital’s Brain Injury Program.

Between January 2021 and October 2022, Denver Health emergency physicians reported seeing an average of 3.6 scooter-related injuries per day. Other area hospitals have also reported seeing an increasing number of scooter injuries. 


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