Is the rising popularity of e-scooters causing more accidents? Here’s some comment from Admiral;
Adam Gavin, Deputy Head of Claims, from Admiral said:
“With e-scooter trials now taking place in more than 30 locations across England, there’s no doubt they’re going to become even more popular on our roads as they offer a cheap, easy and environmentally friendly way for people to get around. However, with the rise in the number of people using e-scooters comes an increase in risk for all road users, including motorists who have an additional hazard to look out for.
So far this year, Admiral has seen a spike in the number of accidents reported to us involving scooter riders, with 52 registered to date. Although this may not sound like a lot, it’s a big difference compared to the start of last year where there were just 13 accidents reported to us in total from January to June 2020. Our data shows there is a definite trend in the number of accidents involving drivers and e-scooter riders, and we believe the number of accidents will continue to rise.
GOVT TRIALS HAVE CONFUSED THE ISSUE OF LEGAL USE
The rules currently state that anyone who owns a private e-scooter cannot ride on public roads, pavements or cycle lanes. As it’s illegal to do so, if
caught, riders could be given an on-the-spot fine. In fact, only permitted rental E-scooters are allowed to be used in certain English towns and cities taking part in the trials across the UK, which have all been set up by various Councils and Metro Mayors over the last year or two.
But has that patchy roll-out confused people to the extent where they think e-scooters – all of them – are legal to use? The Met has seized over 500 e-scooters being used privately this week in London alone. Jeremy Vine, the BBC/C5 presenter tweeted that his mate had been stopped on one, and received a summons for riding without insurance.
The mainstream media keep repeating that e-scooters can only be used as hire vehicles, but that hasn’t stopped Halfords from increasing scooter sales by 180% year-on-year. The general perception is that they are a greener, sustainable way to travel and so people think they are doing some virtue signalling by buying one online and giving it a go.
ADMIRAL REMINDER ON INSURANCE
“There have been several reports in the media about e-scooter riders being involved in accidents,” says Adam Gavin; “with both motorists and pedestrians and we’ve certainly seen more incidents reported to us this year. We think this could just be the tip of the iceberg as many cases go unreported and as more people use e-scooters and roads get busier we believe the number of accidents will increase.
“When lockdown restrictions ease across the UK and people start commuting once again, we want to remind all road users to be more alert to try and prevent serious accidents. Motorists need to be aware of the additional scooter traffic and be extra vigilant, while anyone looking to hire the devices need to keep themselves and others safe. Before taking an e-scooter out for a spin remember to wear a helmet, make sure you have a valid provisional driving licence and double check the rental E-scooter operator has the correct insurance so that you know you’re protected in case of an accident.”
We have said it before and we will say it again; some people don’t belong on two wheels, whether it is a bicycle, motorcycle, scooter or e-scooter. They lack rapid reactions, balance, fine motor control and a kind of radar for hazards. Ask any seasoned biker about on-the-road radar for d***heads and they will explain to you how that works.
Until the government builds separate lanes, Netherlands style, for e-scooters and bicycles, the number of accidents will keep rising, some of them serious or fatal. Very sad indeed and insurers need to make sure they do everything possible to change the law and insist users hold a FULL car/bike/A class scooter licence. The notion that learners with a Provisional can intuitively master a 15mph scooter in busy urban traffic, without taking a test or any road use experience, is ridiculous.