RoSPA finds electric scooters safer than cycling

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Written by Midlothian View reporter Luke Jackson

New e-scooter safety research has been published today by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), which has found that e-scooters are significantly less risky than many other modes of transport on UK roads . The report recorded an incident rate of 0.66 collisions for every million kilometers traveled on an electric scooter, five times less than bicycles with 3.33 collisions per million kilometers traveled and nine times less than the figure of 5.88 for motorcycles.

The study was carried out by RoSPA, the UK’s leading crash prevention charity, with technical assistance from safety-focused electric scooter operator Neuron Mobility. It assessed the magnitude and nature of injury risks associated with electric scooters compared to other modes of transportation. It covers data collected by the Department for Transport (DfT) and provided by Neuron for the period 2020.

With the number of e-scooters in the UK increasing sharply since 2020, both as part of ongoing government trials and the often illegal use of private e-scooters, there is an urgent need for further research into how the security of these devices is shaping itself. against other vehicles. In fact, of the incidents that have happened on e-scooters, figures showed that the overwhelming majority (94%) happened in local authority areas that did not operate trial electric scooters, as opposed to areas with shared e-scooters. scooters available, further highlighting that so far trials of shared electric scooters in the UK have proven to be remarkably safe.

Shared e-scooter systems tend to feature a range of safety innovations and stricter rules and regulations compared to private e-scooters which are currently illegal to use on public land. For example, Neuron’s rental e-scooters, which have been approved by the DfT, are equipped with GPS and geofencing that control where they can be driven and parked and their speed in different areas. Using this technology, Neuron is able to define the boundaries of driving zones, slow zones, no parking zones and no driving zones. Every trip is recorded and all e-scooters have insurance, built-in safety helmets, identification plates, rollover detection, and with daily safety checks and regular maintenance they are widely considered an option safer than private e-scooters.

It was confirmed that almost all incidents analyzed in the study occurred on roads (94%), mainly on undivided single carriageways. The vast majority involved a collision between an e-scooter and a larger motorized vehicle such as a car, truck or lorry, highlighting the need for improved infrastructure and driver protection. The data also shed light on the types of cyclists involved and the time of day the incidents were most likely to occur, with the majority of collisions occurring during the day, between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., with peaks at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Men (77%) were much more likely to be involved than women.

Based on these findings, the report makes a series of recommendations to further improve e-scooter safety, including:

  • Given the accident rate that occurs on single carriageways, further investment in improved road design, including separate lanes for bicycles and electric scooters, would be beneficial.
  • Safety standards should be applied to improve the visibility of electric scooters on the road, including those relating to signage, lighting and braking.
  • Providing mandatory training on the rules of the road and the practical operation of e-scooters would benefit all users.
  • Awareness and training on the behavior of electric scooters for other road users, in particular motorists, would be beneficial.
  • Electric scooter users should be encouraged to wear a helmet when riding

Nathan Davies, Executive Director of Policy and Portfolio at RoSPA, said: “E-scooters are clearly destined to be a long-term feature of our transport mix and it is of urgent importance that we understand their impact on road safety and how they can be made. safe for everyone to use.

This report shows that electric scooters compare favorably to other types of vehicles and do not pose a greater safety risk to other road users and pedestrians. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure they are integrated onto our highways and to ensure that e-scooter riders and cyclists have better protection from motor vehicles, which were at the origin of the vast majority of incidents. .”

Operators of RentaleE scooters, like Neuron, who participate in Department of Transportation trial programs have demonstrated a strong commitment to driver safety and education. However, we need to see these initiatives trickle down to private sale models, where the majority of incidents occur, to ensure that any wider deployment is done with safety as a priority.

George Symes, UK Regional Director at Neuron Mobility, said: “As a relatively new mode of transport, there is often a misperception that e-scooters pose a higher risk than other forms of transport. , but the data shows that’s just not true. We welcome the report from RoSPA which shows that e-scooters – especially rental e-scooters – compare very favorably to bicycles and motorcycles when it comes to the number of incidents.

Neuron’s number one goal is security. We assess every incident that occurs in our cities to assess how we can reduce the risk of it happening again. Across the UK, we have implemented a range of initiatives to make our operations safer, including an online safety course developed with RoSPA, regular ScootSafe events in town centers and universities and incentives wearing a helmet and secure parking.

We know that with the right investment in technology, education and infrastructure, electric scooters can be made even safer and more accessible.

Read the report here.


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