Data released in September 2023 by the Department for Transport confirms that there were 1,401 collisions involving e-scooters in 2022 compared to 1,352 in 2021, which demonstrates that e-scooter accidents are on the increase.
Casualties relating to e-scooter accidents had also increased from 1,434 to 1,492. Around 440 of these casualties were estimated to be seriously injured. In total, 12 people were killed in collisions involving e-scooters, which was up from 10 in 2021.
It was most common for the driver of the e-scooter to be injured, rather than other parties involved in these accidents. The second most likely road users to be injured were pedestrians. A total of 233 pedestrians were injured or killed by e-scooter collisions in 2022. By far the most common gender and age group to be injured in e-scooter collisions was males between 10-19 years old, followed by males aged 20-29.
The government is currently running e-scooter trials in around 30 areas across the country. It is illegal to ride e-scooters on public roads unless you are doing so as part of one of these trials. Around half of e-scooter collisions occurred in areas where trials are taking place and around half took place outside of trial areas, which indicates that the illegality of riding e-scooters publicly is not well known or is disregarded. It is anticipated that collision levels are under-estimated in this data report to some extent, as it is known that many non-fatal casualties are not reported to the police. There may also be concerns about reporting these incidents to police if the user of the e-scooter is doing so illegally.
The most common serious injuries resulting from e-scooter collisions are head injuries, which indicates that helmets aren’t always being used and, indeed, this is not mandatory. It is our view that helmets should be made mandatory whilst riding e-scooters and indeed any other vessel driven on our roads.
E-scooter collisions are most definitely increasing year on year, which is of huge concern when many people are riding them illegally and/or without helmets. The government needs to do more to regulate the use of e-scooters and, in turn, increase the safety of e-scooter riders and other road users.