Head injury experts are calling for tougher regulations on e-scooters after figures reveal that almost 400 people have reported head injuries in just seven months.

The recent ACC figures on head injuries caused while using e-scooters show almost $700,000 has been paid out by ACC since October last year.

The figures detail the number and cost of e-scooter accidents that resulted in head injuries between October 2018 and April 2019.

Professor Valery Feigin from AUT University's National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neuroscience said the head injury figures were "significant and absolutely unjustifiable".


"I personally believe as a doctor, these things (e-scooters) need to be heavily regulated," he said.

"They need to follow the same rules as bikes - and that's not what is happening, which is quite upsetting."

Feigin said many colleagues, doctors and neurologists were of the same opinion.

"This is something which should not be happening. The company is benefiting from that, but they don't care about people's health.

"People suffer and the experts suffer - we should not have to pay for these absolutely unnecessary brain injuries."

Emergency services attend to a young lady who crashed off a Lime e-scooter in Auckland in November. Photo / Greg Bowker
Emergency services attend to a young lady who crashed off a Lime e-scooter in Auckland in November. Photo / Greg Bowker

Neuropsychologist Dr Kelly Jones said the figures were concerning and she suspected they would increase with the wider use of e-scooters.

She said there should be serious consideration given to people wearing helmets.

"We expect people to wear helmets when they are biking, and scooters travel quite quickly, so if we can prevent an injury to someone's brain - which might have long-lasting effects - then I think why not do that.


"I'm very supportive of prevention where we can, and it's not a difficult thing to do to require people to have helmets, so it's certainly worth a consideration."

Jones said while a helmet won't prevent brain injuries, it can minimise the impact of the injuries.

"If we can prevent someone from having a severe brain injury, and perhaps reduce that down to a moderate injury, then certainly that affected individual is going to be very pleased they were wearing a helmet.

"Through wearing a helmet they might have fewer symptoms of concussion and the symptoms might last for a reduced amount of time."

Jones said most people recover well from a mild brain injury, but there is increasing evidence to show that a small proportion have long-lasting effects.

"So if we can reduce the risk of those types of injuries then I think that is something we need to consider," she said.

ACC e-scooter head injury claims:

Broken down by age group, people aged in their 20s made the most claims for head injuries, with a total of 184, while those in their 30s were the next highest on more than 69.

When it came to a cost breakdown, the highest cost of these claims came for the 30-39 age group which totalled $224,390 over the seven-month period. The 20-29 age group wasn't far behind on $206,639.

More than 20 people aged 60 or older also made head injury claims, costing a total of $45,669.

Across all age groups, the total cost of e-scooter head injury claims was $675,648.

From the seven-month period, the summer months saw the most injuries, with January recording a total of 95 injuries, and 73 in February.