The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has published a new study on the safety of e-scooters, which found that e-scooters are significantly less risky than many other forms of transport on Britain’s roads.
The report recorded an incident rate of 0.66 collisions for every million miles travelled on an e-scooter – five times lower than bicycles with 3.33 collisions per million miles travelled and nine times lower than the figure of 5.88 for motorcycles.
The study was carried out by RoSPA, with technical assistance from safety-focused e-scooter operator Neuron Mobility. It assessed the scale and nature of injury risk associated with e-scooters in comparison to other modes of transport. It covers data gathered by the Department for Transport (DfT) and provided by Neuron for the 2020 period.
With the numbers of e-scooters in the UK increasing sharply since 2020, both as part of the government’s ongoing trials and often illegal use of private e-scooters, there is a pressing requirement for further research into how the safety of these devices shapes up against other vehicles. Of the incidents that did occur on e-scooters, figures showed that most of them (94 per cent) took place in local authority areas that were not operating an e-scooter trial as opposed to areas with shared e-scooters available, further highlighting that so far, the UK’s shared e-scooter trials have proven to be remarkably safe.
Shared e-scooter schemes tend to feature a range of safety innovations and stricter rules and regulations when compared to privately owned e-scooters which are currently illegal for use on public land.
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 ensure they are integrated on our highways and 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.”