Development of electric scooters in Europe and other countries

Micromobility transport becoming increasingly popular in 2024, which is also leading to an increase in the number of injuries associated with them. While e-scooter injuries are no more common than bicycle injuries, the consequences can be more serious. A new report from the OECD International Transport Forum (IFF) examines the current evidence base for micromobility trends and safety risks. It provides security recommendations for both authorities and micromobility operators in accordance with the "Secure System" approach. The authors conclude that e-scooter sharing becomes safer overall because injuries do not increase with use. But the increase in serious injuries from e-scooter crashes is concerning.

Personal electric mobility devices are seen as an attractive innovation in urban mobility, offering an environmentally friendly transport option with no emissions and good maneuverability in urban environments. They represent a convenient solution for the “last mile” - covering the distance between public transport and your destination.

E-scooters in Europe and elsewhere are also popular with tourists as they provide a convenient way to explore new cities.

Launched in Singapore in 2016, the global e-scooter market is now worth more than US$33.18 billion (A$49 billion) and continues to grow at around 10% per year.

More than 600 cities around the world have adopted e-scooter sharing programs, although attitudes towards them vary, making them the subject of controversy in urban planning.

Some cities, such as San Francisco and Madrid, initially banned e-scooters due to concerns about safety and use of public space, but later introduced regulation of their use. A referendum was held in Paris, as a result of which sharing scooters were completely banned.

In Australia, attitudes have been more welcoming, although rules vary by state or territory. The new Australian Design Rule (ADR) will require new electric, hybrid and hydrogen cars, trucks and buses to be equipped with AVAS from November 2025. Perhaps electric scooters will also be equipped with sound.

How safe are scooters? What can we learn from the experiences of other cities?

  • An increase in the number of SIMs leads to an increase in the number of injuries
  • Most of these incidents involve men between the ages of 20 and 30, who typically suffer injuries to the head, face and limbs.
  • The victims rarely used a helmet. Wearing a helmet while riding an e-scooter can reduce the risk of head injuries by up to 44%.
  • In addition, about 30% of people hospitalized with injuries from electric scooters have elevated blood alcohol levels. Accidents involving drunk drivers are associated with more serious consequences.
  • Reducing collision speeds from 25 km/h to 15 km/h can reduce the risk of head injuries to pedestrians by 49%.

The study, which examined data from the Royal Melbourne Hospital, recorded 256 e-scooter-related injuries in the year to January 2023, including nine pedestrians, with a total hospital cost of A$1.9 million.

In Queensland, e-scooter incidents in hospitals increased from 279 in 2019 to 877 in 2022. By September 2023, this figure had already reached 801 (data for the full year was not yet available). Similar trends have been observed in almost every city where e-scooters have been introduced.

One study of more than 5,000 patients treated at a large trauma center in Paris found that while the fatality rate for e-scooter crashes was not higher than for bicycles or motorcycles, the risk of severe traumatic brain injury was slightly higher. than bicycles (26% compared to 22%).  

The table below (Table 6) presents the main risk factors associated primarily with riding an e-scooter, and also, to some extent, with e-bikes. It also highlights the relationship between these risk factors and road users, infrastructure and micromobility. Green indicates high correlation, yellow indicates medium correlation, and red indicates low correlation. That is, driver visibility (Fu4), driver stability (Fu8), and the availability of micromobility safety data (Fm1) and impact data (kilometers driven or time) are critical for informed decision making and effective safety policies. Facilitating aftercare (Fm2) for micromobility vehicle drivers can provide protection in the event of accidents. In summary, a holistic approach that combines safe driving behavior, improved infrastructure, vehicle design standards and safety data collection is essential to reducing the risks of micromobility-related crashes in our urban environments.

To minimize safety risks when using e-scooters, it is necessary to strengthen regulation, ensure strict adherence to rules, and educate users about safe riding. Such measures include restrictions on operating hours, age restrictions for passengers, a ban on the use of mobile phones and headphones, a ban on driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speed limits, mandatory use of a helmet and a ban on carrying passengers. As well as the introduction of a sound warning system for scooter movement.

Cooperation with E-vehicles manufacturers (personal mobility devices, electric scooters, etc.) plays a vital role in enhancing safety. That is why THOR AVAS is interested in partnership at the production stage, when it is possible to implement the AVAS system directly at the stage of manufacturing a scooter, moped or other electric vehicle.

Cities across Europe, where cycling infrastructure leaves much to be desired, are seeing an increasing number of electric scooter accidents. However, cities with extensive networks of bike paths have not faced this problem.

Perhaps the path to e-scooter safety is through creating a friendly infrastructure. As the number of passengers increases, investments in safety need to be increased. This could make using electric scooters less risky for everyone in the future.

Contact us

or contact us via e-mail: [email protected]
Get exclusive sounds right now

Only you can hear the sounds of electric transport of the future!


We'll send you access to exclusive sounds to your email

Your access has been sent to your email