Since 2018, approximately 30 people in the United States have been killed riding electric scooters. According to a study published in the Journal of Safety Research, 80% of those accidents involved the rider getting hit by a car.
The study, titled Comparison of Motor Vehicle-involved E-scooter and Bicycle Crashes Using Standardized Crash Typology, found that e-scooter crashes with cars are primarily the result of unsafe infrastructure for nonmotorized vehicles.
In the past four years, e-scooter rides have soared from zero to 88 million trips annually. In many instances, electric scooters were introduced to cities on the same roads and in the same lanes as cars. The lack of clear rules or road patterns has resulted in dangerous conditions.
The study noted above analyzed Nashville police reports of crashes between 2018 and 2020. 2018 was when e-scooters first became available in Nashville. In total, researchers identified 52 e-scooter crashes and 79 bicycle crashes. Of those accidents, one e-scooter crash was fatal. In regard to location and environmental factors, 80% of all crashes occurred at intersections, and 70% happened during daylight hours.
Sidewalks are another main risk of e-scooters. Even though local rules prohibit scooter-riding on sidewalks, more than 60% of crashes between cars and scooters happened when an e-scooter rider was on a sidewalk in a driveway or crosswalk. In most cases, the scooter was coming from the car’s right, and the drivers were less likely to expect moving vehicles to come off the sidewalk and into traffic.
E-scooter parking contributes to the sidewalk problems. According to the study, “Currently, scooter-share companies like Lime require scooters to be parked on the sidewalk, placing riders onto the sidewalk at the beginning and end of each trip.” The study suggests on-street parking as an alternative that would improve safety for riders and drivers: “Providing on-street parking can induce adult riders of powered e-scooters onto the street, where they belong.”
At the moment, the only steps that have been taken to keep scooter riders off of sidewalks are education campaigns, in-app messages, and sidewalk decals. Those steps, however, do not seem to be working as crashes are still happening.
For more information on the latest rideshare industry news, click here to visit our blog. In the event you’ve been involved in an electric scooter accident and believe a driver is to blame, the Rideshare Law Group can help. You may be able to pursue a claim to seek compensation for your losses. To learn more, contact us today.