UK: RoSPA Finds e-Scooters Are Safer than Other Forms of Transport

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has published a study demonstrating that e-scooters are significantly safer than bikes and motorcycles on UK roads.

The RoSPA Safety Report uses data gathered by the Department for Transport to evaluate UK e-scooter incident rates and asses the scale and nature of injury risk in comparison to other transport options.

The study recorded an incident rate of 0.66 collisions for every million miles travelled on an e-scooter and a rate of 3.33 collisions per million miles travelled on a bicycle, suggesting that e-scooters are five times safer than bicycles. The e-scooter incident rate is also nine times lower than the study’s recorded rate of 5.88 collisions per million miles travelled for motorcycles, demonstrating that e-scooters are significantly less risky than other popular forms of transport.

RoSPA Study E-scooters
The study was carried out by the UK accident prevention charity RoSPA, while e-scooter operator Neuron Mobility provided technical assistance
George Symes, UK Regional Manager at Neuron Mobility said:

“As a relatively new mode of transport there is often a misperception that e-scooters present a greater risk than some other forms of transport, but the data shows this simply isn’t true. We welcome RoSPA’s report which shows that e-scooters – particularly rental e-scooters – compare very favourably to bikes and motorcycles when it comes to the number of incidents. Neuron’s number one focus is safety. We know that with the right investment in technology, education and infrastructure, e-scooters can be made even safer and more accessible.”

Of the incidents that did occur on e-scooters, the RoSPA study revealed that 94 percent of them took place in areas that were not operating an e-scooter trial, further highlighting that the UK’s shared e-scooter trials generally operate safely. Indeed, the country’s shared e-scooter schemes feature a growing number of safety regulations compared to privately owned e-scooters, which are currently illegal to use on public land. They are also subjected to safety regulations that cars, bicycles and motorcycles are not subjected to.

For example, Neuron Mobility’s rental e-scooters are fitted with GPS and geofencing to control where they can be ridden and parked, as well as determining their speed in different areas. Every trip on a shared e-scooter is logged and all Neuron e-scooters have insurance, integrated safety helmets, identification plates and topple detection.

Nathan Davies, Executive Head of Policy and Portfolio at RoSPA said:

“E-scooters are clearly set to be a long-term feature of our transport mix and it’s of pressing importance that we understand their impact on road safety and how they can be made safe for everyone to use. This report shows that e-scooters compare favourably to other kinds of vehicles and do not represent any greater safety risk to other road users and pedestrians. However, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to make sure both e-scooter riders and cyclists are offered greater protections from motor vehicles, which were the source of the vast majority of incidents.”

Nearly all incidents analysed as part of the study took place on the roads (94 percent), mostly on unsegregated single carriageways. The vast majority of these incidents involved a collision between an e-scooter and a car, truck or lorry, which highlights the need for improved infrastructure and protection for riders.

The RoSPA report consequently offers recommendations to further improve e-scooter safety:

  • Further investment in road design improvements, including segregated bike and e-scooter lanes
  • Safety standards to improve the visibility of e-scooters on the road
  • Mandatory training on the Highway Code and the practical operation of e-scooters
  • Awareness and training on e-scooter behaviour for other road users, in particular car drivers
  • Encouraging e-scooter users to wear helmets

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