Reported road casualties Great Britain: e-Scooter factsheet 2021 Leave a comment


About this factsheet

This factsheet examines the main trends in collisions involving e-scooters and the casualties involved, collected in STATS19 reportable collisions.

E-scooter users are one of the vulnerable user groups. They are not protected by a vehicle body in the same way car users are, and tend to be harder for drivers to see on the road. They are, therefore, particularly susceptible to injuries.

Please refer to the background notes for further details of how the data are collected including caveats.

Things you need to know

Severity adjustment

This factsheet provides an estimate of the number of personal injury road traffic collisions involving e-scooters, in Great Britain, in 2021 using the STATS19 reporting system. The figures are based on adjusting figures reported by the police for slight and serious injuries to take account of changes in the reporting of injury severity by some police forces in recent years. These adjusted figures can reliably be used to compare trends over time across the country. They are based on what we estimate the totals would be if all police forces were using injury-based severity reporting systems. More information on the change and adjustment process is available in the severity adjustments section.

Main points

Based on final data, in 2021:

  • there were 1,352 collisions involving e-scooters, compared to 460 in 2020
  • of all collisions involving e-scooters, 324 included only one e-scooter with no other vehicles involved in the collision (single vehicle collision), compared to 83 in 2020
  • there were 1,434 casualties in collisions involving e-scooters, compared to 484 in 2020
  • of all casualties in collisions involving e-scooters, 1,102 were e-scooter users, compared to 384 in 2020
  • there were 10 killed in collisions involving e-scooters (all of whom were e-scooter riders) compared to
    1 in 2020
  • our best estimate, after adjusting for changes in reporting by police, is that there were 421 seriously injured and 1,003 slightly injured in 2021, this compares to 129 and 354 respectively in 2020

Reported collisions and casualties involving e-scooters

Table 1 shows the number of reported road casualties in collisions involving e-scooters in Great Britain in 2021, by road user type. Excluding e-scooter casualties themselves the main types of other road users involved in collisions involving e-scooters are pedestrians and cyclists.

Table 1: Number of reported casualties in collisions involving e-scooters, by road user type, Great Britain, 2021

Road user type Killed Serious(adjusted) Slight(adjusted) Total
E-scooter user 10 331 761 1,102
Pedestrian 0 67 162 229
Pedal Cyclist 0 20 45 65
Motor Cyclist 0 3 12 15
Car Occupant 0 0 17 17
Van Occupant 0 0 2 2
Bus Occupant 0 0 2 2
Other Vehicle Occupant 0 0 2 2
Total 10 421 1,003 1,434

Chart 1 shows the number of reported casualties in collisions involving e-scooters for 2020 and 2021. There has been an upward trend in the last 2 years, with 2 dips during the second and third coronavirus lockdowns, followed by a sharp decrease in December 2021 (when there were high levels of Omicron COVID-19 variant transmission).

Chart 1: Reported casualties in collisions involving e-scooters by month, Great Britain: 2020 and 2021 The shaded areas refer to periods of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Casualties by age and sex

Chart 2 shows the number of reported e-scooter user casualties, by age and sex in Great Britain in 2021. There are more male than female e-scooter user casualties, especially amongst those aged between 10 and 39.

Chart 2: Reported e-scooter user casualties, by sex and age, Great Britain, 2021

Note: Cases where the casualty age and sex are unknown have been removed from chart 2

Chart 3 shows the number of reported casualties other than e-scooter users in collisions involving e-scooters by age in 2020 and 2021. Casualties are spread across all age groups with the 3 biggest categories being between 30 and 59. There is a higher increase in certain age groups when comparing 2021 to 2020. The age groups that had the highest increase are 0 to 19 and 50 to 69.

Chart 3: Reported casualties other than e-scooter user involved in e-scooter collisions, by age, Great Britain, 2020 and 2021

Note: Cases where the casualty age is unknown have been removed from chart 3

Casualties by time of day

Chart 4 shows the number of casualties involved in e-scooter collisions by time of the day, in 2020 and 2021. The trend is the same for both years, an upward trend starting at 6am and ending at 4pm with a dip at 10am, followed by a downward trend from 4pm to 10pm. There are twin peaks, the first one at 8am and the second one at 4pm.

Chart 4: Casualties in collisions involving e-scooters by time of the day, Great Britain, 2021

Casualties by police force area

Table 2 shows the number of reported collisions involving e-scooters by police force in Great Britain, in 2021. The Metropolitan police reported over a third (36%) of all casualties involving e-scooters in Great Britain, compared with 21% of all casualties involving any vehicle. The remaining e-scooter casualties were spread across the other 43 police forces, with the second highest percentage of e-scooter casualties being reported in Avon and Somerset.

Table 2: Reported casualties in collisions involving e-scooters by police force, Great Britain, 2021

Police force Involving e-scooters Involving e-scooters (% of GB) Involving any vehicle Involving any vehicle (% of GB)
Avon and Somerset 104 7% 2,890 2%
Bedfordshire 16 1% 1,535 1%
Cambridgeshire 23 2% 1,814 1%
Cheshire 4 0% 1,945 2%
City of London 10 1% 157 0%
Cleveland 5 0% 837 1%
Cumbria 3 0% 988 1%
Derbyshire 19 1% 2,267 2%
Devon and Cornwall 15 1% 3,938 3%
Dorset 28 2% 1,595 1%
Durham 0 0% 853 1%
Dyfed-Powys 3 0% 1,280 1%
Essex 44 3% 3,707 3%
Gloucestershire 5 0% 991 1%
Greater Manchester 20 1% 3,898 3%
Gwent 2 0% 810 1%
Hampshire 69 5% 3,984 3%
Hertfordshire 22 2% 2,161 2%
Humberside 10 1% 2,280 2%
Kent 34 2% 4,970 4%
Lancashire 21 1% 3,657 3%
Leicestershire 17 1% 1,528 1%
Lincolnshire 0 0% 2,004 2%
Merseyside 73 5% 2,464 2%
Metropolitan Police 523 36% 26,541 21%
Norfolk 21 1% 1,801 1%
North Wales 4 0% 1,027 1%
North Yorkshire 4 0% 1,734 1%
Northamptonshire 31 2% 1,322 1%
Northumbria 16 1% 2,231 2%
Nottinghamshire 74 5% 2,348 2%
Police Scotland 12 1% 5,106 4%
South Wales 17 1% 1,246 1%
South Yorkshire 10 1% 2,685 2%
Staffordshire 3 0% 1,118 1%
Suffolk 4 0% 1,427 1%
Surrey 11 1% 3,175 2%
Sussex 39 3% 4,067 3%
Thames Valley 33 2% 3,651 3%
Warwickshire 1 0% 1,126 1%
West Mercia 3 0% 2,113 2%
West Midlands 67 5% 6,236 5%
West Yorkshire 2 0% 5,097 4%
Wiltshire 12 1% 1,605 1%
Total 1,434 100% 128,209 100%

Casualties in e-scooter trial areas

The government is running trials of e-scooters, which are currently taking place in around 30 areas.

Currently the distinction between trial and privately owned e-scooters involved in collisions is recorded inconsistently by police forces as part of a free text field, and in some areas (including for the Metropolitan police) there are a high proportion of collisions where the police officer does not identify the type of e-scooter involved.

However, in several areas where large trials have been running in 2021, police have distinguished between trial and private scooters. Table 3 shows that the number of e-scooters involved in road collisions, by ownership type, highlighting the police force areas covering the largest trials in place during 2021.

While it is difficult to draw any firm conclusions from the data reported at present, we will continue to issue guidance to police forces to attempt to capture more robust data on casualties within trial areas where possible.

Table 3: Reported e-scooters involved in collisions by ownership type, Great Britain, 2021

Police force Private Rental Unknown
Avon and Somerset 8 7 78
Dorset 17 8 2
Hampshire 18 10 37
Merseyside 26 41 0
Metropolitan Police 9 6 485
Northamptonshire 1 22 8
Nottinghamshire 37 33 0

Injuries in collisions involving e-scooters

For police forces using injury-based reporting systems, information on the most severe injury sustained is available within STATS19. While coverage is not complete, this provides further detail on the outcomes of road collisions. Further details of what is collected are covered in our factsheet on injuries in road collisions.

Table 4 shows that the three most common type of injuries sustained in collisions involving e-scooters (to the e-scooter users or others) are all of slight severity. However, the fourth, fifth and sixth most common type of injuries are different type of fractures and head injures which are considered as serious injuries.

Table 4: Reported casualties in collisions involving e-scooters by injury type, Great Britain, 2021

Injury type Severity Number of casualties
Shallow cuts/lacerations/abrasions Slight 135
Bruising Slight 70
Sprains and strains Slight 60
Fractured lower leg, ankle, foot Serious 34
Other head injury Serious 27
Fractured arm, collarbone, hand Serious 15
Deep cuts, lacerations Serious 13
Severe head injury, unconscious Serious 12
Whiplash or neck pain Slight 10
Shock Slight 10
Fractured pelvis or upper leg Serious 5
Other chest injury, not bruising Serious 5
Broken neck or back Serious 3
Internal injuries Serious 3
Multiple severe injuries, unconscious Serious 3
Multiple severe injuries, conscious Serious 2

Note: The table includes only casualties reported by police forces using the injury-based reporting system ‘CRASH’, this is around 29% of all casualties in collisions involving e-scooters.

A list of all police forces and system they use can be found in severity adjustments section.

Background information

“E-scooters” are not one of the designated vehicle types collected in a STATS19 reportable collisions, as such they would be classed as other vehicle and can only be identified using a free text field.

The “Other vehicle” category was introduced in 2011 to replace the previously collected vehicle types Other motor vehicle and Other non-motor vehicle. A free text field was introduced at the same time to provide insight into what other vehicles were being recorded.

The description is mainly used by the department to assess whether new vehicle types need to be captured and to reclassify existing “Other vehicles” into one of the defined vehicle types e.g. Even though mobility scooters have their own category, a number of these end up in the other category each year and are reclassified by DfT.

The free text field cannot be automatically validated in the same way as the designated vehicle type data, and therefore not as robust as published vehicle statistics. Therefore, using this text does require some investigation and validation. Unfortunately, the word scooter is not exclusive to one type of vehicle and depending on the context used, it could be used to describe a variety of vehicles including some motorcycles (those that have a step-through frame and a platform for the rider’s feet to rest on); mobility scooters and traditional stand on scooters. Stand on scooters can also have different methods of propulsion (petrol, electric or physical effort). Guidance has been issued to all forces to ensure they capture more than just the word ‘scooter’ in the free text description when recording this.

It should be noted that a considerable percentage of non-fatal casualties are not reported to the police. Non-fatal casualties for e-scooter users are amongst the most likely to be under-reported in road casualty data since they have no obligation to inform the police of collisions. This should be borne in mind when analysing and interpreting the data.

More information about the strength and weaknesses and definitions can be found in reported road casualties in Great Britain: annual report, 2021

Feedback

We welcome further feedback on any aspects of the department’s road safety statistics including content, timing, and format, via email to the road safety statistics team

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