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Injury Prevention Week 2022 – E-scooters

This week, 27th June to 1st July 2022 is Injury Prevention Week, an annual initiative set up by The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

APIL is a not-for-profit organisation which gives a voice to injured people and this year’s Injury Prevention Week is focussing on e-scooters.

Currently, it is only legal to ride e-scooters if they are part of a rental scheme in cities across the UK. It is illegal to use a privately owned e-scooter on public roads, pavements or in cycle lanes. However in the recent Queen’s Speech, the Government indicated plans to legalise the use of privately owned e-scooters on public roads. APIL estimate that this will lead to an influx of up to 750,000 e-scooters on the roads.

According to Government statistics, in 2021 there were 1,280 collisions involving e-scooters and 1,359 casualties. The number of people killed in collisions involving e-scooters (all of whom were e-scooter riders) was 9. This is a worrying increase from the previous year where there were 484 casualties and 1 death.

E-scooter safety tips

It is apparent from the statistics that e-scooters can cause serious injuries not only to other road users but to the rider and that the number of accidents are dramatically rising. There are several safety tips to consider to help protect people and reduce the number of these incidents:

  • Follow the rules of the road: e-scooter riders must follow the same rules as other road users by stopping at red lights, not riding on the pavement and being considerate to other road users.
  • Wear a helmet: e-scooters can reach speeds in excess of 30mph and wearing a helmet can dramatically reduce the risk of a serious head injury.
  • Make use of protective equipment: wearing light coloured or fluorescent clothing will ensure you are as visible as possible on the road. If riding after dark, make sure the e-scooter is fitted with lights.
  • Never ride under the influence, this puts you and others at risk of serious injury.
  • Take a test ride: if you are new to using an e-scooter get to grips with how to turn and brake at different speeds in a quiet location before starting on main roads.

Remember that currently only e-scooters that are part of a rental scheme are legal on the roads and a full or provisional driving licence is required to use one. Privately owned e-scooters are restricted for use on private land only.

With the Government intending to legalise the use of private e-scooters on the road, it would be welcoming to see further safety laws and enforcement to keep everyone safe, for example:

  • A maximum speed limit set for e-scooters
  • Helmet wearing to become mandatory
  • Prohibit riding on pavements
  • Making third party insurance compulsory for e-scooters

What to do if you are in an e-scooter collision

An e-scooter rider owes a duty of care to all other road users and if the rider is negligent and causes injury or loss, they may face a claim against them.

As with any kind of road traffic accident you should obtain details of the parties involved, including their names, addresses and contact numbers. You should report the incident to the police and take photos of the scene and any damage.

If you are injured in an accident involving an e-scooter it is important to consult a personal injury lawyer from the outset to help you understand whether you have a valid claim for compensation. At present it is not compulsory for e-scooter riders to have insurance, although there are insurance products available. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured e-scooter rider it can become problematic recovering compensation from them and a specialist personal injury lawyer will be able to investigate this on your behalf and advise you on the best course of action to take.

Injury Prevention Week

Hopefully this initiative by APIL will increase the general public’s awareness of the law relating to e-scooters and in future we will see regulations introduced to help prevent injuries relating to the use of e scooters. To learn more, read the results of our survey, which revealed many parents are unaware of the law and dangers surrounding e-scooters.