Injuries from Electric Scooters: The Future Cause for Spinal Cord Injury?

Electric scooters are incredibly popular across Europe right now, with Halfords reporting a whopping 140% increase in e-scooter sales in the first half of 2021 compared to 2020. Electric scooters are better for the environment than cars, but the Government has safety concerns.

Injuries from electric scooters continue to rise. Will they be the future of spinal cord injury? Click to find out more.

Rightly so, considering the 822 e-scooter accidents on UK roads last year according to the Department for Transport. This data will determine whether or not the Government decides to make e-scooters fully legal for use on Britain’s roads.

What is an e-scooter?

Electric scooters – often referred to as e-scooters, are incredibly similar to the classic two-wheeled scooters you have seen before but with an electric motor attached. The scooters can go at least 15mph and have front and rear lights. Riders must have a full or provisional car or motorcycle licence to use them on public roads, with the recommendation that they wear a helmet although this is not compulsory.

The Government launched the e-scooter scheme in the summer of 2020, which permitted numerous cities to test the 12-month concept by offering rental e-scooters to the public. Cities such as London, Bristol and Newcastle have all taken part, and city-goers have loved the idea so far.

With such success, the scheme has now extended across the UK to 31 March 2022.

The rules of renting e-scooters in the UK

  • Riders must be over 16
  • Riders must have a full or provisional (Category Q) driving licence
  • Helmets are not mandatory but recommended for safety
  • Max speed must only reach 15.5 mph (12.5mph in London due to increased congestion)
  • Must only be ridden on roads or within cycle lanes
  • Riders must have third party insurance (E-scooters are classed as ‘powered transporters’ – this falls within the definition of a ‘motor vehicle’ in section 185 of the Road Traffic Act 1988)
  • Private e-scooters are only allowed on private land

The facts and figures of electric scooter injuries

Currently, electric scooters are only allowed on the roads as part of an authorised trial scheme across big UK cities. While you are legally allowed to purchase a private scooter, you can only ride them on private grounds.

At the end of June 2021, roughly 20% (172) of the 882 accidents were single-vehicle accidents, with over 931 casualties as a result – 732 of which were e-scooter users. Unfortunately, three of those people were sadly killed. Out of the 103,943 e-scooter injuries reported nationally from January 2009 and December 2019, 28% were head and neck injuries.

With more and more electric scooter accident statistics coming to light, it makes us question whether or not they will be the next worrying cause of potential spinal cord injuries.

Can you claim for an injury caused by an e-scooter?

If you experience an injury caused by an electric scooter, you are well within your rights to make a claim. The rider must have insurance, so these situations receive the same treatment as car or motorbike accidents.

E-scooters are more than capable of inflicting life-changing injuries and the law is continuously changing surrounding this issue. If you have been a victim of an e-scooter accident that left you with a spinal cord injury, Aspire Law are specialist SCI solicitors who can help you through the claims process. Our team of expert personal injury lawyers are here to support you. Get in touch with us today to find out more.