Electric Scooter Safety Report: An analysis from data just released from Austin and Portland
Consumer Reports, the City of Portland, and the City of Austin recently released safety reports on electric scooters — mainly focused on the booming scooter sharing customers. Here is a summary of what they've found.
Portland had 2.2 injuries per 10,000 miles (2.5 injuries per 10,000 trips) from electric scooters. For a typical electric scooter rider who rides 1456 miles per year, this would put them in the ER or urgent care every 3.1 years. Like they say, “it’s not a matter of if you will crash, it’s a matter of when you will crash.”
Austin electric scooter sharing shows .33 injuries per 10,000 trips or .34 injuries per 10k miles. This rate is much less than the Portland numbers and closer to what we see in bike-sharing injuries rates.
Washington DC’s bike share program claimed they have an injury rate of .14 per 10,000 trips, a 18X lower rate than what Portland saw. Although the two sharing programs are in different cities and different years it is somewhat safe to say that bike-sharing is safer than electric scooter sharing.
Types and Causes of Injury
Digging deeper, it turns out the most common serious injuries from electric scooters are concussions, broken noses, and forearm fractures. The most common of all being concussion and other head/neck injuries at 30–33% (This is not surprising since scooter sharing riders are almost as famous for not wearing helmets as they are for riding on sidewalks.
The Portland study included the causes of injury: most occur via a non-collision induced fall (83%) 14% were from a collision with an automobile. 3.4% of injuries were the result of a collision with a pedestrian or another scooter.
Chuck Temple is an early adopter of electric scooter mobility. He started the most active community for personal electric scooter owners in the world on Reddit. If you would like more information about the personal electric scooter market, check out the official Electric Scooter Guide for resources and tools.