People are hurting themselves on electric scooters - US doctors

It's official - people are hurting themselves on electric scooters.

A US study published in the journal JAMA Network Open this week examined injuries at two Los Angeles emergency rooms after rental electric scooters became available in the city.

Over a year, nearly 250 people were treated for injuries due to using electric scooters. This is around 25 percent more than bicycle use injures.

The most common injuries were head injuries (40 percent of patients); fractures (32 percent); and cuts, sprains or bruises without a fracture (28 percent).

Only four percent of the riders were using a helmet, and senior study author Dr Joann Elmore says she thinks that electric scooter riders are "underestimating the hazards".

She warns riders to be careful, follow local traffic laws and wear helmets "to prevent the types of injures we've seen in our emergency departments".

In New Zealand the Government is considering introducing a 10km/h speed limit for e-scooters following safety concerns.

More than 100,000 Auckland riders have jumped on board since their launch in October, but they've also been responsible for some nasty accidents.

In the first two months of the trial in New Zealand, there were more than 400 e-scooter injury claims around the country, with 251 in Auckland and 141 in Christchurch. Most of them were due to a loss of balance or control, while 15 were down to collisions.

A spokesperson for Auckland Transport told Newshub in October scooters users should probably wear helmets.

"We encourage anyone using an e-scooter to wear a helmet, and share with care on footpaths, being mindful of people walking and using an appropriate slower speed in busy areas," spokesperson Joanna Glasswell said.