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Statistics Show E-Scooter Casualties on the Rise, Here's Five Tips to Stay Safe

A recent analysis of statistics on e-scooter casualties has shown a tenfold percent increase in deaths in just 12 months in the UK. The compared years were 2021 and 2020, and the latter was the year with a single death, while last year had 10 people who died on e-scooters in the country.
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While 2020, along with its lockdown, had brought a sharp decrease in casualties due to people staying inside more than ever before, the figures from 2021 are concerning. The same happened with vehicle accidents in many countries, mind you. 

Last year, there were 1,434 reported e-scooter casualties. Out of those, there were ten deaths, 421 people with serious injuries, and 1,003 people who were “slightly injured.”

As a comparison, the figures in 2020 involved 484 casualties, a single death (tragic, nonetheless), 128 serious injuries, and 355 people with slight injuries.

You might be tempted to say riders on the last part instead of just people. Still, the statistics do not mention how many pedestrians have been injured by e-scooter riders, just e-scooter incidents and injuries.

IAM RoadSmart, the largest road safety charity in the UK, noted a 900-per-cent increase in deaths in just 12 months, even though there was an 11-percent decrease in casualties in 2021 compared to 2019. Mind you, in 2019, one person died in the UK while riding an e-scooter.

So, even if the UK was safer for e-scooter riders last year than it was in 2019, ten people died riding those vehicles, and over 1,400 were involved in incidents.

The United Kingdom plans to introduce a Transport Bill in the coming months that is meant to regulate e-scooters. Until that happens, and even after, incidents will probably be on the rise. We are mentioning “even after” because people will not change their habits overnight, you do not require a driver's license to ride an e-scooter, and the police cannot catch every single offender on one of these vehicles.

While the study is with data from the UK, every country that has e-scooters has seen its share of crazy incidents, people speeding on sidewalks, accidents involving children or elderly citizens, and so on.

It is not about (just) the UK; it is about an unregulated device that can get people going faster than just walking, but without requiring a license, a parking space, or too much space, which made them popular, to begin with. By the way, not requiring a license to ride does not mean that e-scooters are the alternative to a taxi after you've had a few at the pub. 

You see where this is going. It will take effort from e-scooter users to reduce incidents to a significantly lower level. Hopefully, people will not die on these vehicles anymore, but that is just wishing for the best instead of doing things.

So, what can you do? The safest thing for now, until there are clear regulations in place where you live, would be to sell your e-scooter (if you have one, and it gets banned) and stop riding the rented ones until the field is regulated. With clear rules in place and a bit of time for everyone to adapt to those new rules, you can hope for an increase in safety.

If you do not want to sell your e-scooter, and you consider it the best possible thing in the world, well, our suggestion is that you wear a helmet every time you get on it. We also suggest wearing gloves that are usually sold for motorcyclists, as they are designed to endure road abrasion in an impact.

The second advice we have is to always wear shoes that cover your heels, or at least shoes that cover as much of your feet as possible, as falling off an e-scooter while wearing flip-flops will lead to road rash that will stop you from walking for many days, along with pain and suffering that could have been easily avoided.

The third piece of advice we have is to wear pants that cover your legs entirely, as they can also help reduce road rash at limited speeds (it does not work at higher speeds, though). Having a layer of jeans over your skin when rubbing against asphalt is better than bare skin, trust me.

Anyone who had their share of falling off a skateboard, while running, or wearing roller skates knows exactly what we are writing about. Some of us have scars for life from those days. Having a small scar is better than a life-changing or life-ending injury, though.

Our fourth piece of advice is to keep your speed down, even with a cycling helmet on your head. That helmet is meant to absorb a part of the shock of the impact, but it cannot work wonders. At a certain point, no helmet can help you in a crash, especially if you ride an e-scooter that can out-accelerate an entry-level motorcycle or a moped.

Our fifth piece of advice is a no-brainer, but please watch where you are going, focus on the riding part instead of the beauty of the sky, the song in your headphones (don't even think about them), or social media on your phone. This advice is also meant to be followed by pedestrians - you cannot be sure what is going on behind you before suddenly stopping and going straight towards a shop window. Take a glance behind you before jumping like a bishop on a chess board.

Remember, kids, just because you do not know the law, you are not exempt from it, and just being sorry is not going to cut it. This goes for adults, as well.

Editor's note: For illustration purposes, the photo gallery shows various e-scooters and even kick scooters.
This article was not sponsored or supported by a third party in any way.

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