A team of researchers at Changsha University of Science and Technology, working with a colleague from Xiamen University of Technology, has found that scooter riders can reduce their chances of suffering a brain injury in a crash if they better protect themselves. In their paper published in Royal Society Interface MagazineIn this article, the group describes rebuilding scenarios of crash scenarios for electric self-balancing scooters (ESSs) to learn more about the injuries that often occur.
The researchers started their work after learning that motorcycle accidents are on the increase worldwide due to their growing popularity. They also noted that many of these accidents lead to serious brain injuries. To learn more about the events that led to such injuries, they reconstructed multiple accident scenarios using “failed” videos on social media and applied what they describe as computational methods. The result was a generation of hypothetical scooter riders who collided under scenarios such as running into a stop sign, a car or a person, resulting in the scooter rider being thrown from the scooter to the ground – and in many cases, a head injury.
The researchers were able to manipulate the actions of the scooter rider in simulations to learn more about the implications of actions taken before and during an accident. They found that all too often, scooter riders fail to take any injury precautions when an accident occurs. They further noted that such failures often lead to injuries that are worse than if the rider had taken precautionary measures. They noted, for example, that simply raising the arms to cover the head while in the air would protect the rider’s head and brain from inevitable falls, especially if the rider was not wearing a helmet.
The researchers also found that the type of ESS did not make a significant difference in the risk of head injuries – two-wheeled and single-wheeled scooters were just as dangerous. They also calculated that nearly half of the riders who crash have about a 50/50 chance of a skull fracture in any crash. They concluded that head injuries could be significantly reduced by riders if they used their limbs to mitigate blows to the head when accidents occurred.
E-scooter simulation highlights riders’ head injury risks from falling
Fang Wang et al., Numerical investigation of jockey head injury in typical scenarios of individual electric self-balancing scooter accidents, Royal Society Interface Magazine (2022). DOI: 10.1098 / rsif.2022.0495
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