In a 2021 University of Minnesota study, more than 25% of the 210 respondents reported they had been in an accident on an e-scooter. While these motorized modes of transportation have become popular and offer convenience and eco-friendliness, concerns about accidents are on the rise.
Understanding the risks associated with e-scooters is important to keep everyone safe.
Lack of rider experience
Many e-scooter riders have little to no experience operating such vehicles, especially in densely populated areas. Inexperience can lead to poor judgment, erratic riding and a higher likelihood of accidents.
E-scooters can reach relatively high speeds, often up to 15-20 mph, which can be dangerous on crowded sidewalks or streets. Riders may lose control or be unable to react quickly enough to obstacles.
Cities may lack proper infrastructure to accommodate e-scooters safely. A lack of dedicated lanes or designated parking areas can result in riders and e-scooters interfering with pedestrians and vehicles.
Some riders engage in reckless behavior, such as weaving in and out of traffic, riding without hands or performing stunts. Such actions increase the risk of accidents and injuries.
Poor road conditions
Potholes, uneven surfaces and debris on roads can pose significant hazards to e-scooter riders, causing them to lose control or crash.
Collisions with vehicles
E-scooter riders are vulnerable to collisions with motor vehicles. Drivers may not always notice or anticipate the presence of e-scooters, leading to accidents at intersections or while changing lanes.
Just like distracted driving, riders using smartphones or other devices while operating e-scooters can become a hazard to themselves and others on the road.
E-scooter companies are responsible for maintaining their fleets, but some may neglect this duty. Malfunctioning brakes, loose handlebars or other mechanical issues can lead to accidents.
Keeping safe on an e-scooter requires a combined effort of everyone, from riders to communities. They can be a great mode of transportation when safety is at the forefront.