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E-scooters: A growing safety concern

It was “a completely avoidable collision.”

On the 2nd of June 2022, Linda Davis was going about her shopping in Rainworth, Nottinghamshire. It seemed like any other day but, sadly, it would be her last.

As the 71-yer-old grandmother stepped out from behind a parked Ford Transit van, she crossed into the path of a 14-year-old boy driving an e-scooter at 20mph along the pavement.

Following the collision, Linda sustained a severe head injury. She died in hospital six days later.

This tragedy is representative of the safety risks surrounding the use of E-scooters. In this article, we’ll explore why e-scooters are a growing safety concern.

They’re likely to cause serious injuries

Regardless of whether you’re hit by an e-scooter, or you fall off one you’re driving, the consequences can be deadly.

In either case, you’ll be thrown to the ground at high speeds and likely hit your head on the ground or a nearby object. This will likely result in a traumatic brain injury – especially if you aren’t wearing a helmet.

Research published by the Department for Transport in 2021 recorded 1,434 casualties in e-scooter collisions, up from 484 in 2020 – an increase of 196%. Of these casualties, almost one-third were serious injuries.

With the popularity of e-scooters growing ever stronger, we can only expect to see more collisions, personal injury claims seeking compensation for injuries, and stories like Linda Davis’ over the coming years.

They’re often used unsafely

E-scooter riders are typically seen as anti-social by the public. And there’s a reasonable basis for this perception.

As was the case with the boy whose driving took Linda Davis’ life, many e-scooter users drive along pavements – in many cases, despite knowing that this is against the law.

Many citizens report seeing riders engaged in dangerous behaviour, such as street racing, riding while intoxicated, and even snatching valuables from pedestrians as they drive by.

When riders use e-scooters in an unsafe manner, they drastically increase the chances of collisions occurring – putting not just themselves at risk but also innocent and unsuspecting members of the public.

They’re not well regulated

The aforementioned data from the Department for Transport showed that more than a quarter of e-scooter collision casualties are between the ages of 10-19. Since the vast majority of these casualties are e-scooter riders themselves, these figures suggest that many e-scooter riders could be under the legally required age of 18.

And despite many users riding e-scooters in public areas, this is effectively illegal – in the eyes of the law, e-scooters can only be used on private land with the landowner’s permission.

A threat to the public

E-scooters were introduced with good intentions, as an environmentally friendly form of transportation. And they could still turn out to be a good alternative for travelling in urban environments.

Yet the stories of Linda Davis and others like her highlight that the introduction of electric scooters is having dangerous effects that weren’t envisioned.

Until tighter regulations and laws covering e-scooters are formulated and properly enforced, the growing safety concerns surrounding these vehicles will continue to be valid.