E-Scooter Safety: Issues and Solutions

Since their introduction in the United States in 2017, the use of electric scooters (e-scooters) has expanded to the streets and sidewalks of more than 100 cities, and all indicators point to continued growth. E-scooters offer many potential benefits, including reduced air pollution in comparison to competing forms of transportation, first and last mile connections to public transit, increased mobility options, and new revenue sources for cities. Recently, however, there has been a growing concern with injuries associated with e-scooter use (https://www.consumerreports.org/product-safety/national-crash-data-from-e-scooter-ride-share-companies-revealed-for-first-time/). Most of the e-scooter injuries were head injuries from falls and did not involve a motor vehicle; hence, it is difficult to track e-scooter crashes through traffic crash reports. Nevertheless, the emergency room data clearly show that a major contribution to injuries is a lack of helmet use and novice rider overrepresentation, including a significant subset of injuries to patients younger than 18 years. As e-scooters proliferate, there is the potential to add risk to other vulnerable road users such as pedestrians (particularly the sight impaired and elderly) and wheel chair users, especially if e-scooters are allowed to operate on sidewalks. Research on e-scooters is needed for state and local agencies, and industry partners, to help manage safety risks more effectively and efficiently. Knowing when and where risky behaviors may occur could inform injury prevention approaches, including education, training, enforcement, policy, and changes to the built environment. The objective of this research was to identify emerging behavioral safety issues arising from the expanding use of e-scooters, both rental and privately owned, and develop comprehensive guidance to help affected agencies plan for and mitigate related safety problems.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $490000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project BTS-10

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Governors Highway Safety Association

    444 N. Capitol Street, NW, Suite 722
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, D.C.  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Retting, Richard

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

    Chapel Hill, NC  United States  27514
  • Principal Investigators:

    Sandt, Laura

  • Start Date: 20200605
  • Expected Completion Date: 20230305
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01709595
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project BTS-10
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jun 28 2019 11:43AM