KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The use of electric scooters in the U.S. has boomed in recent years – but how safe are they? That’s what researchers at the University of Tennessee are aiming to find out.
Some data is already available about electric scooters safety.
In a release from UT, other than hospitalization data little had been known about the safety of e-scooters. UT researchers are trying to provide the safety data they say has been lacking so that city managers and policymakers have the data to inform long-term decisions.
The researchers looked at police reports for 131 crashes that occurred in Nashville.
They compared crashed between bicycles and cars — and e-scooters and cars. They found one strong similarity: 1 in 10 crashes led to injury or death of the e-scooter rider or bicyclist.
The study authors also noted that although Downtown Nashville is an entertainment hub, most e-scooter accidents occurred during the daytime, alcohol was not a factor; and most riders were locals who were close to home.
“We were surprised that scooter riders didn’t seem to fit the stereotype of drunk tourists getting hit at night,” the study authors stated. “We did find that scooter riders and drivers seem to get caught off-guard when interacting at crosswalks and driveways.”
In Knoxville, LINK Scooters operates around downtown, South Knoxville, Fort Sanders and the University of Tennessee campus.