A recent study indicates that 40% of users of selectric scooters are injured on first use. The analysis was made by the organization Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which interviewed 103 users seen in 2019 by the George Washington University Hospital, in the United States.
The organization also found that 58% of falls occur on sidewalks, due to holes and signposts. Fortunately, only 13% of respondents were injured in collisions with cars, trucks or buses.
IIHS research vice president and lead author of the study, Jessica Cicchino, analyzes that this low percentage may indicate that scooter owners prefer to ride on the sidewalks – which would increase the risk of collision with pedestrians. However, the researcher says that if electric scooters are “moved” to the streets, the number of serious accidents could increase.
Despite this, some US cities, such as Denver and San Antonio, have banned the use of these vehicles on the sidewalks altogether; while others just created some restrictions, like Washington, D.C.
In the past few days, the US capital has passed a bill that sets new rules for companies that rent electric scooters, such as providing free online traffic safety classes.
Electric scooters and pandemic
During the pandemic, certain urban centers recorded an increase in the use of electric scooters. This is because these vehicles provide mobility without agglomerations – unlike buses, trains and subways.
This change creates new challenges for cities, which need to incorporate scooters into their transit systems. Some centers, however, prefer to resort to direct prohibitions.
It is the example of Copenhagen, the Danish capital, which will ban the rental of these vehicles from central areas in 2021, because their use would put at risk elderly people who walk on sidewalks and public spaces.