Local doctors concerned about long-term effects of scooter injuries

Posted at 9:44 PM, Dec 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-06 22:44:28-05

Local doctors are telling the public to be extra cautious when riding scooters after seeing an uptick in head injuries.

They say they can be so dangerous your life could change for the worse.

A video this week shows someone riding a scooter in downtown Nashville.

It shows him passing a red light before getting hit by a car. Police say he didn't suffer any critical injuries, but doctors from Vanderbilt Medical Center say that's not always the case.

"If you take a hard enough hit, like some of the recent accidents of people getting hit by cars, there can definitely be some brain trauma,” said Dr. Tyler Barrett, Medical Dir. Vanderbilt Adult Emergency Dept.

Dr. Tyler Barrett says since people started riding scooters in Nashville a few months ago he's seen more and more injuries.

Trauma doctors say they've had about one patient a month with a traumatic brain injury. That is something that can have lasting effects.

"Anything from post concussive syndrome, to problems with memory, to more severe. If anyone has a bleed on their brain, that can cause severe consequences, like if someone had a stroke,” said Barrett.

Barrett says they are consequences that can be life changing.

"It could change the ability to be proactive in the profession they do. If they have problems with their memory or high order functioning,” said Barrett.

Dr. Barrett has one simple piece of advice to help save riders.

"Wearing a helmet can be the easiest thing to do help prevent severe injuries from scooters,” said Barrett.

We reached out to Bird, one of the companies that provides scooters here in Nashville. Below is a written statement they sent News Channel 5.

“We strongly encourage all riders to wear helmets. To help ensure all people have equal access to helmets, Bird provides them to riders for free; we have given away more than 50,000 free helmets.”

Here, in Nashville, wearing a helmet is a requirement, but the law isn't enforced.