Government Under Pressure to Tackle E-Scooter Risk

Posted on: 7 mins read
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Susan Vanden

Partner, Road Traffic Accident Technical Manager

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Recent weeks have seen more reports of deaths and serious injuries linked to E-Scooters, and more pressure on ministers to take action.

Reports of serious accidents involving e-scooters are becoming, sadly, all too common.

Just last week, there was a tragic incident involving a 16-year-old who was riding an E-Scooter when he was killed by a hit-and-run driver. Also, there was the very sad news of a three-year-old girl being left with life-changing injuries after being hit by an E-Scooter in a park.

These terrible stories are just two examples of a much wider problem that’s prompting calls to the government to limit the use of E-Scooters.

Part of the problem is that many of the people using E-Scooters are young and inexperienced riders.

Parents of these children need to understand that not only can they be held responsible for the actions of their children dependent on their age, but also that they’re allowing their own children to be put at risk with inadequate safety equipment or road safety training.

There needs to be urgent education, not just in schools but also to the general public.

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What Does the Law Say on E-Scooters?

As it stands, it’s illegal to ride a privately owned E-Scooter on a public road, cycle lane, or pavement in the UK. But you can ride a rented E-Scooter on roads, as long as you carry a full or provisional car, motorcycle, or moped license, and trials of E-Scooter rental schemes are currently happening in different parts of the country.

Call for E-Scooters to Be Banned

The National Federation of the Blind has urged ministers to ban retailers from selling e-scooters to members of the public and end the rental of E-Scooter trials.

Sarah Gayton, spokesperson for the group, told Sky News that E-Scooters have caused many different problems across the country.

“We know in Nottingham that people's anxiety is a lot higher because of E-Scooters.

“We know in Liverpool it's been called a no-go area for blind and visually impaired people because of the rental E-Scooters there that are riding over the pavements and people leaving E-Scooters everywhere."

Police forces are also raising concerns, with Northamptonshire's Chief Constable Nick Adderley this week calling for tougher regulation of private E-Scooters.

In an interview with the Northampton Chronicle, he said: “Anybody can walk into a shop and buy one of these things, and some can travel up to 25mph or 30mph.

"I believe there's much more we have to do with the government to make sure regulations can be tightened on the way these E-Scooters are ridden, where they are ridden and the enforcement of it.”

Chief Constable Adderley added that the number of e-scooters being sold is becoming a “real problem” and putting more pressure on police resources.

The government has insisted that safety is its top priority and said the trials happening right now will “help us to better understand the benefits of E-Scooters and their impact on public space”.

If you've been injured in an accident involving an E-Scooter, get in touch with our specialist Road Traffic Accident Solicitors.

We offer a free consultation, so you can discuss your situation with us with no obligation, and we can let you know we can help you.

 

What are the Safety Risks?

E-Scooters pose a potential risk for road accidents. But as the use of e-scooters is fairly new, there isn’t as much data as there are for car or other vehicle accidents.

But what we do know about E-Scooters is that pose the following risks:

  • E-Scooters don’t have indicators, so it’s impossible for riders to signal to other road users
  • E-Scooters don’t have any mirrors, so riders are unable to see other road users clearly, especially those who are approaching from behind
  • Riders are likely to be thrown off in an accident, as they are standing on the e-scooter which is an unstable position to be in
  • There is currently no requirement by law for e-scooter riders to wear protective gear such as helmets
  • E-Scooters are allowed to travel without lights, making it difficult to see users when it’s dark
  • E-Scooters are incredibly quiet so it’s a lot harder to hear them approaching, which poses a huge risk to people with vision impairment
  • While E-Scooters should be ridden on the road, users often break the law and ride them on pavements, making the pavements unsafe for pedestrians

 

E-Scooter User Habits and Patterns

Based on the reports that have been published on e-scooter accidents, we can determine how E-Scooters are likely being used.

In 2021 and 2022, there were upward trends between 06:00 to 16:00, where the most accidents occurred. However, there was a dip at 10:00 with downward trends from 17:00. This indicates that most E-Scooters are using them to commute to and from work, replacing their need for a car or other vehicle.

With this in mind, we can determine that E-Scooter users will continue to use them for this purpose which means that they can be expected to be a permanent fixture on the roads. As such, the Government should pay attention to the risks they pose and act accordingly.

 

E-Scooter Accidents: 2022

In 2022 there were a total of 1,402 e-scooter accidents that involved a collision with another vehicle or pedestrian. Out of those accidents, 341 were collisions with E-Scooters and a pedestrian.

12 of those accidents were fatal and led to the death of either the E-Scooter rider, pedestrian, or another road user. 1,040 of the accidents caused minor injuries, while 440 caused serious injuries.

 

Why Do E-Scooter Accidents Happen?

As with any road traffic accident, E-Scooter accidents can happen as a result of a number of circumstances. As we’ve explored above, one of the main causes are collisions with other road users. Collisions can happen when either party wasn’t paying enough attention, it was too dark to see the other user, or several other reasons.

Speeding is another cause for concern here, as E-Scooters can reach up to 35mph. While this is significantly slower than cars, many riders can and do choose to break the law and travel on the path.

Other causes of E-Scooter accidents include:

  • Pavement or road defects, such as potholes
  • Rider negligence
  • E-Scooter malfunction or breakdown
  • Inexperience of the rider
  • Multiple road users at fault

 

How to Start a Personal Injury Claim

It can be overwhelming at first when you start considering a claim for compensation. But our team are here to offer you all the support you need to take things at your pace.

In the first instance, contact us to arrange free claims assessment. If we are happy to proceed with your claim, we’ll let you know all your legal options. We pride ourselves on being transparent, so we will always be upfront with our fees, so there will never be any surprises. You will know exactly what to expect the entire way through.

Once you have instructed us to handle your claim, we will write a letter to the other party. We will ask them to accept responsibility and negotiate the amount of compensation we think you are owed.

If they accept liability, we will work towards settling outside of Court, which is what we always aim for overall. We will always do our best to achieve a settlement out of Court, but this isn’t always possible. If the other party doesn’t accept their responsibility, we will start the Court proceedings.

We understand that the idea of going to Court can be nerve-wracking, but it needn’t be. We will offer you all the support you need, and we will be behind you the whole way. Our experienced solicitors have helped thousands of claimants, so you can rest assured that you are in safe hands with Simpson Millar.

 

Why Choose Simpson Millar

If you have been in a road traffic accident that involved an E-Scooter you may be able to open a claim for compensation. The first thing you should do is look after your well-being and seek medical assistance.

Once you have been treated, you should start thinking about processing a claim if you believe the E-Scooter rider was at fault. You can contact us for a free claims assessment where we will discuss your case in detail and determine whether or not your claim will be successful.

We understand that compensation won’t change what happened or put it right, but it can help you to re-build your life following a major accident and secure you ongoing support and rehabilitation, depending on the severity of your injuries.

Our expert Personal Injury Solicitors are experienced in road traffic accidents, so we can get started straightaway. We have helped thousands of people who have suffered life-changing injuries as a result of road traffic accidents, so we know exactly how to handle your claim. Our compassionate team will offer practical legal advice and guidance throughout the entire process, so you never feel overwhelmed.

Get in touch with us today to arrange your initial consultation.

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Susan Vanden

Partner, Road Traffic Accident Technical Manager

Areas of Expertise:
Road Traffic Accidents

Susan specialises in managing road traffic accident cases, and mainly represents pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists in multi-track cases, as well as clients who have developed chronic pain syndrome and sustained organic injuries.

She also supports junior members of staff across the department.

References

www.simpsonmillar.co.uk. (2022). Serious Injury Claims | Simpson Millar Solicitors. [online] Available at: https://www.simpsonmillar.co.uk/personal-injury-solicitors/serious-injury-claims/

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