Uber Eats and Deliveroo have been associated with a number of road accidents in Brisbane according to a new study.
The research, conducted by Dr Alicia Heald from the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, audited all motorbike, scooter and bicycle injuries that presented to the hospital's emergency department in the past year.
The study found 5.7 per cent of such admissions were associated with food delivery driving. On average, the patients were 28 years of age and were travelling at 41 kilometres per hour at the time of the accident.
"Drivers apply online to work for these companies and must provide their own motor vehicle, motorcycle, scooter or bicycle. Other than a driver's licence, no professional driving qualifications are required and drivers can be up and running within days of applying for work", Dr Heald said.
"The study revealed a small but significant burden of road trauma experienced by Uber Eats and Deliveroo drivers."
Drivers were admitted to hospital with a variety of injuries. While some sustained abrasions and sprains, six patients had fractures, and one had multiple life-threatening injuries.
Traumatic lower limb injuries were most common, with some patients requiring complex bony and soft tissue reconstruction for their injuries. Average length of stay in hospital was 4.3 days.
Dr Heald said the study revealed the injured drivers were not Australian nationals. Several patients were lost to follow up and this may be because they had left Australia to return home.
"Our data highlights the potential risks faced by food delivery drivers on motorbikes, and the costs associated with the care of these patients can be expected to be substantial."
The research also found the post-operative rehab requirements for the injured takeaway food delivery drivers was high, with several patients requiring outpatient physiotherapy and occupational therapy treatment.
Dr Heald will present her research at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeon's 87th Annual Scientific Congress which is being held in Sydney between 7-11 May. The congress brings together some of the top surgical and medical minds from across New Zealand, Australia, and the rest of the world.
For more information about the RACS Annual Scientific Congress please visit: https://asc.surgeons.org/