Health & Medical

Scooter Use Skyrocketing In Cities, But Are They Safe? A Look At The Evidence – CleanTechnica

Scooter Use Skyrocketing In Cities, But Are They Safe? A Look At The Evidence – CleanTechnica

Bicycles Published on May 5th, 2019 | by World Resources Institute May 5th, 2019 by World Resources Institute  Originally published on World Resources Institute blog. by Alejandro Schwedhelm, Anna Bray Sharpin, and Claudia Adriazola-Steil Electric scooters are the latest “new mobility” tech to disrupt the transportation sector. Chances are you’ve seen someone passing by on one of these small-but-nimble two-wheelers…


Published on Would possibly maybe also honest fifth, 2019 |
by World Sources Institute

Would possibly maybe also honest fifth, 2019 by  

First and major printed on World Sources Institute weblog.

by Alejandro SchwedhelmAnna Bray Sharpin, and Claudia Adriazola-Steil

Electric scooters are essentially the latest “recent mobility” tech to disrupt the transportation sector. Chances are high you’ve viewed somebody passing by on one of those shrimp-but-nimble two-wheelers in a city come you. Following the explosive declare of bike-sharing and scoot-hailing, scooters reached 38.5 million U.S. trips in 2018.

A man rides a scooter in Austin, Texas. Flickr/James Cage

Scooters present a lot of the same advantages as bike-sharing to riders—they supply rapidly and fun walk for transient distances—whereas being even less intimidating to inexperienced persons. Esteem shared bikes, scooters moreover comprise the functionality to present fundamental advantages to cities.

Early files suggests most scooter trips are between one and two miles prolonged. Per the Environmental Protection Company, if U.S. drivers selected to stroll or bike rather then riding for half of all automobile trips shorter than a mile, it would place 2 million metric many of CO2 emissions and present about $900 million in gasoline prices and repairs savings. Scooters, delight in bikes, encourage with the “closing-mile” explainconnecting parts of town to public transport that had been beforehand past attain—and develop score entry to for residents who are residing in areas underserviced by public transit.

Some, on the other hand, comprise raised concerns about scooters’ security, given their shrimp size, decrease heart of gravity than bikes, rather excessive speeds, some conditions of scooters breaking  and publicity to conflicts with autos or pedestrians.

Most novel study within the United States found that using a scooter does carry some dangers. Alternatively, they usually fee that scooters are no more poor through threat of worthy damage or death than other modes of transport.

Whereas more files is an awfully worthy to totally realize relative dangers all over modes, we make know cities have gotten deadlier for all non-motorized customers—that autos are hitting and killing pedestrians, cyclists and others at unacceptable rates. The appearance of scooters handiest lends more urgency to the peril to create it safer for of us to switch around cities with out counting on autos.

Proof from 4 Most novel Research

Scooters are a brand recent phenomenon, and there isn’t yet a gargantuan deal of files readily on the market all over cities. Alternatively, a few study think at emerging scooter atomize files in U.S. cities. We discuss the first, a CDC look launched the day gone by, at the splendid length, but moreover look for 3 more study for context.

Austin, Texas

The Centers for Illness Management and town of Austin, Texas, no longer too prolonged ago launched an epidemiological look having a spy at scooter-connected accidents over a three-month interval within the autumn of 2018. The look checked out more than one damage and demographic variables associated with 190 injured riders, of which virtually half had been thought about critically injured. 15% experienced a tense brain damage. The pattern of scooter riders studied yielded an damage rate of 20 per 100,000 rides, which implies that a person taking four scooter trips a day might perhaps maybe demand to be injured once every 3.5 years.

Fifty-5 p.c of riders had been injured on the avenue, 33% on the sidewalk and 12% in other areas. The look found that 16% of incidents involved motorized automobile straight (a collision) or circuitously (swerving to take care of faraway from a collision). One more 17% involved a curb, an object or a manhole.

The look concluded that a lot of the head accidents might perhaps maybe moreover honest had been preventable (handiest possible the most riders who suffered a head damage became carrying a helmet) and proposes two next steps: Strengthening damage surveillance connected to emerging autos delight in scooters, and lengthening the frequency and strategies of academic messages on steady using, emphasizing helmet carrying and affirming steady speeds.

Alternatively, there are other systems to interpret the outcomes. One element that can perhaps moreover honest comprise contributed to excessive damage rates is the amount of amateur riders. Over 60% of the interviewed riders had made fewer than 10 trips on a scooter. Better than 30% of those injured had been first-time riders.

Furthermore, on condition that 55% of riders had been injured on the avenue, and 50% of interviewed riders believed that pavement ground conditions led to their accidents, it’d be worthwhile to conduct an prognosis of avenue create, quality, and repairs. It might perhaps perhaps maybe perhaps be attention-grabbing, as an illustration, to investigate the relationship between damage areas and infrastructure for riders, equivalent to bike lanes and other create parts. A snappily visualization of accidents reported within the look overlaid with town of Austin’s receive database on “excessive comfort” bike infrastructure is a initiating point. Most accidents took place faraway from protected infrastructure.

Comparing damage rates of scooters and other modes in some unspecified time in the future of the look interval (normalized by trips taken or hours ridden) will comprise moreover shed some light on whether or no longer roads within town pose a serious threat to all inclined customers, or whether or no longer scooters comprise unique security desires.

Los Angeles

One more latest look checked out 249 sufferers with accidents associated with electrical scooter employ in two emergency departments of a UCLA scientific heart in southern California. Internal a one-300 and sixty five days interval, 32% of those scooter-damage sufferers had fractures, 40% had head accidents, and 28% had at ease-tissue accidents. Supreme 4% of sufferers had been carrying a helmet at the time of their damage, but most sufferers (94%) had been discharged dwelling from the emergency room. Supreme 2 of 15 admitted sufferers had severe accidents.

This look is namely attention-grabbing because it captured how riders had been injured. Eighty p.c fell off their scooters, 11% collided with an object and 9% had been hit by a consuming automobile or object. The look doesn’t deliver, but it’d be attention-grabbing to correlate how riders had been injured with the severity of the damage.

Portland, Oregon

As portion of the overview of a 120-day pilot program for scooters, Portland checked out a mix of qualitative and quantitative files, collectively with commute files equipped by scooter corporations, emergency visits, and a citywide e-book poll.

Findings embody:

  • Most scooter-connected accidents had been minor.
  • Scooter-connected accidents accounted for 5% of total atomize damage visits.
  • Of these accidents, 84% had been the cease outcome of a person falling off a scooter. 13% resulted from scooter collision with a automobile.
  • Streets with bike lanes saw the splendid scooter utilization.
  • Of us rode on the sidewalk less when the avenue had low trot limits or protected bike lanes, demonstrating the importance of protected infrastructure and safer automobile speeds to minimizing conflict between scooters and pedestrians and autos.


Scooter company Bird moreover no longer too prolonged ago printed a look on scooter security, which concluded that scooters and bicycles portion an identical dangers.

Bikes receive 59 emergency division visits per 1 million miles cycled, in step with a 2017 look in excessive-earnings worldwide locations; Bird reported an damage rate of 38 accidents per 1 million miles for scooters (in step with accidents reported straight to Bird by riders). The look moreover found an affiliation between cities with elevated “Of us for Bikes” security rankings and fewer Bird accidents—with the upshot that making cyclists safer makes scooter riders safer, too.

Per a person peek asking what would create riders feel safer, most respondents want protected bike lanes, smoother pavement, wider bike lanes and designated scooter parking.

The Hidden Part: Street Construct

These study might perhaps maybe supply insights on possible scooter create pitfalls or using at unsafe speeds, which are fundamental security parts. Alternatively, as scooter employ grows, city leaders must silent elevate into consideration a threat element exterior to riders’ control: the capability our roads are designed.

Over the closing decade, the quantity of of us struck and killed whereas walking elevated by 35%, whereas automobile miles traveled grew gradually. Drivers killed more pedestrians within the United States in 2016 and 2017 than any other 300 and sixty five days since 1990, and, globally, the numbers are moreover getting worse.

Essentially the latest, automobile-centric create of our roads makes other modes of transport—most recurrently cycling, scootering and walking—more inclined to collisions with autos. These type of unequal collisions are worthy deadlier than collisions between of us engaged within the plenty of modes of micro-mobility and “energetic” transport.

What can cities make to create their roads safer for scooters and other energetic modes of transport? Here are some recommendations from WRI’s work:

  • Procedure roads steady by create by building protected bike lanes (that can perhaps moreover honest moreover be worn by scooters), redesigning intersections, and implementing traffic calming measures and city create parts that can place lives delight in trot humps, chicanes, raised pedestrian crossings and improved avenue surfaces. Cities can scale a quantity of those interventions thru “total streets” and Vision Zero programs.
  • Arrange speeds: Lowering and imposing trot limits from 50 to 30 kilometers per hour in busy city areas can decrease the chance of pedestrian or bicycle proprietor fatalities from 85 to 30%. Narrower lanes, wider sidewalks, raised pedestrian crossings and curb extensions moreover all assist safer speeds.

WRI is engaged on this residence to create a quantity of those transformations happen, through its Health and Street Safety personnel. WRI is moreover a member of NUMO, the Unique Urban Mobility alliance, which is learning the create of micro-mobility services and products on cities in more than one systems.

Whether or no longer scooters encourage transform cities for the upper, enabling more low-designate, low-carbon transport suggestions for more of us, will rely on city officials and scooter corporations working collectively in opposition to attaining that blueprint. Let’s consider, the general public sector can push for policies that permit the advantages of scooter programs whereas combating security dangers. The proof suggests protected, excessive-quality bike lanes can supply protection to scooter customers. Companies can moreover make their portion by sharing files with cities (many comprise pledged to make so already, thru the Shared Mobility Principles) and even serving to cities create or test an awfully worthy infrastructure that makes scooters safer. 



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