8 Electric Scooter Accident Statistics in Australia (Updated in 2023)
Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.
In just a few years, electric scooters have become the hottest new trend among millennials and city-dwellers looking for an affordable and quick way to get around town. In fact, these battery-powered devices have been adopted so quickly that many local governments haven’t had time to figure out the best way to regulate them.
According to a recent report by The Washington Post, more than 20 U.S. cities have recently banned or restricted the use of electric scooters as they struggle to catch up with this new trend.
But what about Australia? Are there more scooter-related injuries and fatalities in the country? If so, why? Let’s take a look at the statistics.
The 8 Electric Scooter Accident Statistics and Facts
- Gold Coast University Hospital (located in Southport, Queensland) reported that 100 people were referred to the emergency department for e-scooter accidents in 2021.
- In a 2021 study done in Brisbane, researchers concluded that patients who drank alcohol were more likely to have facial fractures or minor head injuries in e-scooter injuries.
- 39% of all accidents happened between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
- At least 25% of accidents involved alcohol, and 10% were not wearing helmets.
- Riders not wearing helmets accounted for 5,581 of the Queensland infringements since 2019.
- 45% of all e-scooter riders violated local Brisbane riding laws.
- 90% of 785 people observed riding e-scooters in the study by Queensland University of Technology were riding shared e-scooters.
- The small wheels of e-scooters have been a concern regarding their stability on uneven surfaces, especially footpaths.
Most Common Factors
1. Gold Coast University Hospital (located in Southport, Queensland) reported that 100 people were referred to the emergency department for e-scooter accidents in 2021.
(ABC News Australia)
The majority of people involved in these accidents were people in their late 30s and 40s, although accidents in people ranging from 18-27 were also common.
2. In a 2021 study done in Brisbane, researchers concluded that patients who drank alcohol were more likely to have facial fractures or minor head injuries in e-scooter injuries.
(Metro North Health)
This suggests that writers who are under the influence may not have the coordination to break their falls using their legs and arms.
3. 39% of all accidents happened between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
(Metro North Health)
This time frame suggests that riders who use scooters during the evening may be more at risk due to a lack of nighttime vision both for them and motorists.
Helmets & Riding Laws
4. At least 25% of accidents involved alcohol and 10% were not wearing helmets.
(Metro North Health)
The involvement of alcohol suggests that riders have an increased risk of injury when they are under the influence, similar to motor vehicle statistics. Not wearing a helmet also increases the risk of injuries to the face and head.
5. Riders not wearing helmets accounted for 5,581 of the Queensland infringements since 2019.
Studies also showed 1,281 of those riders were riding on prohibited roads or 331 for traveling faster than 25kph.
6. In a study, 45% of all e-scooter riders violated local Brisbane riding laws.
(Queensland University of Technology)
Most were not wearing a helmet, wearing a helmet improperly, or riding on the road. That being stated, this leads researchers to wonder if more reinforcement and/or stricter laws are needed to prevent injury and fatalities on these devices.
(Queensland University of Technology)
Studies show that riders of shared e-scooters may be more at risk for a crash than those who are less experienced. There have been numerous reports of underage riders, speeding, and alcohol use contributing to injuries and deaths.
8. The small wheels of e-scooters have been a concern regarding their stability on uneven surfaces, especially footpaths.
(Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland)
However, more scientific evidence is needed to prove whether the small wheels are causing stability issues, leading to more accidents. There are also many options for the size of the wheels. Some e-scooters have larger wheels and may be more stable than others.
Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Scooter Accidents
What Are the Most Common Causes of Scooter Accidents?
With scooters, there are a few factors that seem to play a larger role in accidents than with other means of transportation. Some of the most common causes of scooter accidents include:
Poor Road Conditions
Many scooter riders are surprised to learn that pavement conditions aren’t always monitored or maintained by local governments. Instead, it’s up to individual jurisdictions to inspect and fix their roads. If a road is damaged and in need of repair, it is likely to go unnoticed until someone reports it. This can lead to riders having falls on streets with potholes, humps, and excessive or large debris.
When the weather gets bad, the likelihood of an accident increases. Rain, snow, and wind can all lead to poor driving conditions, similar to motor vehicles. Unfortunately, the small wheels on scooters makes them more prone to hydroplaning and sliding over wet or icy roads.
All too often, scooter accidents are caused by the rider themselves – especially if there was alcohol involved. Whether distracted by a phone call, under the influence, or if they’re simply negligent, this can lead to injury or worse, particularly in areas that have a high number of motor vehicles on the road.
Lack of Visibility
Scooters are often shorter and more compact than bicycles. This means that they are less visible to other drivers on the road. Different areas have different specifications as to where riders can use e -scooters. This means that scooters that must ride on the road in the bike lane will be more susceptible to potential hazards from cars.
How Fast Can an Electric Scooter Go?
Speed is one of the most often overlooked factors in scooter accidents. Most scooters are capable of going around 15-25 miles per hour. However, it’s important to note that speed can vary considerably depending on the power of the scooter and the quality of the road.
As a scooter rider, you have a responsibility to always be aware of your speed. If you go too fast, you may end up escalating the chance of an accident. This is why scooter manufacturers recommend that riders practice riding scooters in areas away from traffic and pedestrians to get the “feel of the wheel”.
Are Electric Scooters Bad for the Environment?
Not particularly. On one hand, electric scooters are very green. They don’t produce any harmful emissions and are powered by electricity. On the other hand, scooters may not be the best choice if you have to travel long distances.
Electric scooters that travel longer distances like the E-lion are charged in an outlet and are quite heavy. Scooters also require more maintenance than other forms of transportation. If you ride a scooter regularly, you will have to replace the tires and charge the batteries fairly often.
What to Do After an Accident While Riding An E-Scooter?
If you’re in an accident while riding an electric scooter, you should first call 911 if there is a serious injury. Exchange contact information with any other parties involved in the collision – similar to a motor vehicle accident. You should also call the police to report the accident.
If you were at fault for the accident, you will be required to pay for any damages to the scooter and other parties’ vehicles. Otherwise, you may be able to make a claim for damages against the other riders. Overall, authorities tend to respond to these incidents in the same manner as motor vehicle accidents.
Do E-scooters Require Insurance?
Some states require scooter riders to have a license and/or insurance. However, many riders go without these important safety features. Riding without a license (in some states) and insurance can have serious legal consequences if you’re in an accident.
What Is the Current State of Electric Scooter Safety?
E-scooters are safe when used properly and ridden in areas that are legal in local jurisdictions. Electric scooters are actually treated as bicycles under the law. This means that they fall under the same rules and regulations that bicycles do.
Unfortunately, scooters have been the subject of much controversy recently. Many cities have actually banned them because they believe that scooters are unsafe, polluting, and a threat to pedestrians.
Overall, electric scooters are a fun and convenient way to get around town. They are a great choice for people who live in cities or don’t have access to a car. However, it is important to remember that scooters come with certain risks, which have been evidenced by these statistics in Australia. It’s important to always ride at a safe speed and be aware of road conditions. It’s also important to wear proper safety gear, such as a helmet and knee pads.
If you’re in the market for an electric scooter, it is necessary to do your research. Not all scooters are created equally, and each comes with its own set of pros and cons. By reading this article and doing your research, you can find the perfect electric scooter that meets your needs and be aware of how to keep yourself and others safe while riding it.
Featured Image Credit: Studio Romantic, Shutterstock