Are E-Scooters Safer than Cycles?3 min read
Electric scooters have become an emerging mode of transportation because of their convenience, affordability, and environmental stability.
But are e-scooters safe on the roads? Concerns about safety among the people of the UK are acting as a barrier to the new technology.
Research published by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) reveals that e-scooters are much safer than other modes of travel. The casualty rates were significantly lower compared to motorbikes which were five times more likely to collide, and bicycles which were nine times more likely to collide.
The RoSPA collected the data from the publicly available datasets and incident reports from Neuron. This e-scooter company helped provide information regarding the risk factors of e-scooters and e-bikes.
A Brief Comparison of the Casualties
E-scooters had lower casualty rates compared to other micro-mobility vehicles
Motorcycles, pedal bicycles, and buses have higher crash rates. The electric scooters have an incident rate of 0.66 collisions for every million miles traveled which is five times lower compared to bikes, with 3.33 collisions per million miles traveled.
Most of the incidents occurred where there was no e-scooter rental scheme
To understand this point, it is essential to know that RoSPA collected the data before and after e-scooters rental trials were introduced on 13th July 2020. Although exact data on the electric scooters on the road is unavailable, RoSPA estimates the number of private e-scooters to be around 360,000.
According to the data, the incident rate among local authorities was 94% higher when there was no e-scooter rental scheme. This probably has to do with the strict rules and regulations that rental schemes usually require their customers to adhere to.
E-scooters carry lower risks to third parties
Data indicate that 79% of crash events of e-scooters involved more oversized and more powered vehicles like cars, trucks, and motorbikes. Cars are most frequently involved in collisions with e-scooters. Moreover, 13% of e-scooter crashes involved pedestrians, and 6% involved unpowered vehicles. The risk to pedestrians is relatively low, who are otherwise the most vulnerable on the road.Also Read: Ola’s First E-Scooters rolls out from Ola Futurefactory
What Is the Current Law Around E-Scooters in the UK?
It is legal to ride electric scooters only because they are part of the registered hire scheme from companies like Voi, Spin, and Ginger.
The UK bans privately owned e-scooters on public roads. However, riding e-scooters on private lands with the owner’s consent is permitted. Even so, many people illegally ride e-scooters on the highway pavements, leading to confiscation.
The sale of e-scooters is not banned because of which the sale has increased over the years, except during the pandemic. The UK government plans to track illegal sales and regulate riding e-scooters on public highways.
The UK government is planning to introduce e-scooter on public roads, but the prime concern is the suitability of e-scooters in the current infrastructure.
Although the data collected was for a limited period, the findings establish that e-scooters are the least involved in crash events with third parties. The RoSPA study recommends that improving road designs with separate lanes for e-scooters and motor vehicles will further bring down the casualties.
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