Electric scooters are all the rage right now. They’re a convenient, affordable, and fun way to get around town over the last few years, electric scooters have steadily grown in popularity, with a swarm of models being offered as gifts to children. Consequently, parents have become concerned about the dangers of electric scooters. Are you going to buy an electric scooter for your child but want to know, “Are electric scooters dangerous?”
You’ve reached the right place as we’ll discuss all the safety concerns related to e-scooters, like “Are electric scooters safe?” Or “What makes e- scooters dangerous?” etc.— excited to learn? Let’s dive in right now!
E-scooters have been exponentially increasing in the market over the past few years, 2018-2019, as more countries are making efforts to make this mode of commuting legalized. As per a study, with skyrocketing sales in the global market, e-scooters are projected to reach about half a million rides globally. Unfortunately, this has given rise to arrays of safety concerns. It’s where the rubber meets the road. Using recent research and personal experience, let’s see what we can uncover.
Are Electric Scooters Really Dangerous?
Truly speaking, e-scooters are a safe mode of commuting if ridden judiciously. It calls the riders to take proper safety measures and be aware of common risks and limited braking mechanisms for e-scooters. However, we can’t deny that it’s tough to handle these rides on terrain surfaces compared to bicycles. Similarly, it’s facile for the riders to endanger themselves and other pedestrians when they ride these scooters in public areas.
In many U.S. cities, many rental companies such as Lime, Bird, and Skip offer e-scooters to riders for just $1 and a few cents for each minute of usage. While many of the riders have purchased their scooters, this increase in number can prove dangerous for many inexperienced riders commuting in rush hour traffic. Around the globe, there’s no official number of how many people die resulting from e-scooter-related fatal accidents.
A U.S. Study About Are Electric Scooters Dangerous?
Considering safety fears, U.S. researchers from the University of California Los Angeles, have conducted a study revealing the severity of injuries caused by e-scooter mishaps and published in the medical journal the JAMA Network Open. It found that 249 people were involved in e-scooter accidents between September 1, 2017, and August 31, 2018. The common reasons for accidents were falls and collisions with other objects or riders. Among those injured, 40% suffered bone fractures, while 31.7% suffered head trauma. if you don’t know how to ride a kick scooter for the first time go check this blog.
There’re 27.7% of injuries involve cuts, sprains, and bruises. This study also revealed that most of the affectees weren’t following the safety guidelines, and only 4.4 % were wearing helmets.
Data From UK Studies
In the U.K., e-scooters are legally banned from public places, but this law is still unable to prevent people from e-scooter-related deaths. To ride on public roads, you have to obtain a temporary license and then complete compulsory basic training (CBT) in order to receive a certificate. In 2019, 35-year-old YouTuber Emily Hartridge was the first person to die resulting from an e-scooter collision. In London, the extent of dangerous collisions has greatly increased from 4 in 2018 to 32 in 2019. From all this data, we can clearly conclude how dangerous electric scooters are.
Do Electric Scooters Cause More Injuries Than Other Modes of Transportation?
A new study based in Tampere, a city in Finland with 226,000 people, identified that 331 patients were admitted to emergency and accident departments between April 2019 and April 2021 with e-scooter-related injuries. At the same time, scooter rental companies’ data operating in this city divulged that between this period of 2 years, e-scooter riders made more than 1.8 Million trips, which corresponds to roughly 18 emergency room admissions per 100,000 rides or 7.3 per 100,000 km ridden.
When compared with other modes of transport, including motorcycling, walking, and cycling, these figures are at scary higher levels. From this data, it seems that the injuries resulting from e-scooter accidents have a prevalence over other modes of transportation.
While a study by UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) regarding E-scooter related injuries and estimating the rate of injury per trip revealed that 1354 e-scooter-related injuries were reported in Los Angeles between January 1, 2014, and May 14, 2020, estimating the injury rate of 115 injuries per 1 million rides. This rate surpasses national injury rates on cars at 8 per 1 million trips, motorcycles at 104 per 1 million rides, bicycles at 15 per 1 million rides, and walking at 2 per 1 million trips. This also indicates that the injury rate for e-scooters is greater than that of other modes.
What Makes E-scooters Dangerous?
In electric scooters, small wheels are the biggest danger as these resist even small obstacles. The next culprits are a high center of mass with a steep steering angle, ill-maintained brakes, riders’ unfamiliarity with urban travel, and a lack of proper cycling infrastructure.
While the study in Tampere City, Finland, found that over 60% of patients injured by e-scooter accidents were men, with 51% under the influence of alcohol or any other substance at the time of accidents. The majority of patients were admitted between midnight and 6 A.M. It showed that drinking at the time of commuting and driving at night are also subject to many unnecessary dangers.
Ways to Lessen E-Scooter-related Risks
To ensure the safest possible ride, we’ve compiled a list of general guidelines to follow. You can go along with these to be safer for yourself and others on the road.
Cling to Local Regulations: Different cities and states around the globe have their laws regarding e-scooters, so we recommend you search and adhere to these laws to certify protection on the road.
Follow the road safety Guide Lines: Stick to the general road safety guidelines while out on an e-scooter. This may include stopping at stop signs, looking both ways before crossing an intersection, staying off of your phone while riding, and endeavoring to minimize outside distractions to the possible extent.
Wear Protective Gear: The best thing you can do to ensure your safety on the road while commuting is to wear protective gear. This may include a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and gloves. Studies have shown that out of all injured due to scooter accidents, 66% weren’t wearing helmets.
Read Also: Do you need a helmet to ride a kick scooter?
1- Are electric scooters safe?
Despite the reported accidents and calls for banning e-scooters, there’s not as dangerous as you think. They’re safer than other modes of commuting if ridden carefully.
2- Are electric scooters safe for 10-year-olds?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children who are too young to have a driver’s license shouldn’t operate e-scooters. So riding an e-scooter at the age of 10 is illegal and not safe at all.
We hope you’ve got the answer to your query – “are electric scooters dangerous?” Studies have shown that most of the accidents are due to irresponsible riding practices by the riders themselves and not the e-scooters in reality. As the discussion gets louder, if the riders are unhelmeted, listening to music on Airpods, and going at speeds above 25mph, they are inviting the dangers themselves.
Safe commuting 🙂!