Most Scoter Riders Crash on the Sidewalk, Study Finds

New data on scooter safety highlights the ongoing need for cities and micromobility companies to figure out how to keep scooter riders safe in cities.

2 minute read

October 20, 2020, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Paris Mobility

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"A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found a majority of e-scooter injuries happen on the sidewalk," reports Chris Teale.

"Nearly three in five scooter riders were injured on the sidewalk," according to the study, reports Teale. The study examined 500 scooter and bike riders, finding that scooter riders are more likely than bike riders to suffer an injury while riding "due to potholes or cracks in the pavement, or from hitting infrastructure like signposts or curbs."

Another key finding: nearly 40 percent of scooter riders who suffer injuries do so on their first ride.

According to Teale, the data on scooter safety emerges as cities continue to look for ways to accommodate the new mode of transportation in an increasingly cluttered street system. "Assessing the benefits of e-scooters versus other modes of transportation has become a common practice as cities wrestle with how scooters can be integrated into a multimodal network, and how infrastructure can keep up," writes Teale.

The data from the study would seem to say that riders are favoring sidewalks despite prohibitions on the practice in some cities, and even some geofencing capability on the scooters to keep riders off the sidewalk. Given that bike riders are more likely to be hit by a car, according to the study, the street probably doesn't seem like a safe alternative to many scooter riders.

"Jessica Cicchino, IIHS' vice president of research and the lead author on the study, said it remains to be seen where the safest places are for scooter riding, as no solution is perfect," writes Teale.

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