According to two new studies from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the majority of e-scooter accidents happen on sidewalks. This information comes as many cities have already enacted restrictions limiting e-scooter usage on sidewalks and other areas where pedestrians frequent.
IIHS researchers interviewed more than 100 e-scooter riders whose injuries brought them to the emergency room at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC, between March and November 2019.
The first study looked at the severity of the injuries and how they varied according to where and how the accidents occurred. The second study compared rider demographics, usage patterns, and injuries to those of 377 bicyclists who were interviewed as part of an earlier study.
Nearly three out of every five electric scooter riders were injured while riding on a sidewalk. In those situations, approximately one-third of those riders got injuries in places where sidewalk-riding is prohibited. Only one out of every five riders were injured in a bike lane, multiuse trail, or other off-road location. The majority of riders were running errands or riding a scooter for a social trip when their accidents occurred.
In regard to the comparison between e-scooter riders and bicyclists, researchers found that those on electric scooters suffered more injuries per mile traveled. Bicyclists, however, were three times more likely to be hit by a motor vehicle. For e-scooter users, potholes, cracks in the pavement, and other infrastructures like signposts and curbs presented higher accident-related risks.
It’s important to examine e-scooter accidents and their causes, especially considering their growing popularity. Companies like Bird, Lime, Lyft, and Uber have seen ridership increase significantly as urban planners and environmentalists try to encourage micromobility and eliminate short car trips that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
In response to the study, Jessica Cicchino, IIHS vice president for research and the lead author of the two studies, said, “The picture is still not clear when it comes to where scooters should be ridden. Our results suggest that moving scooters off the sidewalk could put riders at risk of more severe injuries, but as things stand they might be suffering these lesser injuries more often.”
In the event you find yourself involved in an e-scooter accident you believe to be the fault of someone else, you can pursue legal action to seek economic recovery for your losses. The Rideshare Law Group can help. Contact us today for more information.