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AutomotiveUninsured E-Scooters: Are They a Safety Hazard on Our Streets?

Uninsured E-Scooters: Are They a Safety Hazard on Our Streets?

Cycle SOS, the UK’s leading cycling accident claims specialists, is bringing attention to the safety risks and legal implications associated with uninsured e-scooters on our streets.

The introduction of e-scooters as a new mode of transportation has captured the interest of commuters and leisure-seekers across the UK. With their sleek design and eco-friendly appeal, these two-wheeled devices have become a common sight, swiftly navigating through traffic and parked in clusters on pavements. Their rising popularity offers an innovative solution to urban mobility and a fun alternative to traditional transport options.

However, the surge in e-scooter usage has not come without drawbacks. As more people take to the streets on these vehicles, accidents involving e-scooters have significantly increased. From minor scrapes to serious injuries, the safety concerns surrounding e-scooters are mounting, prompting a need for greater awareness and regulation.

According to reports until June 2022, there have been 1,349 reported collisions involving e-scooters, marking a 27% increase compared to the previous period. Among these, over 1,000 collisions involved a third party, resulting in 342 third party casualties out of a total of 1,437 casualties. Disturbingly, 11 riders and one third party lost their lives in these accidents. It is important to note that the majority of those injured are pedestrians and cyclists.

Navigating the legal landscape surrounding e-scooter usage is complex. Only e-scooters authorised under the Trials authorised by the Electric Scooter Trials & Traffic Signs Regulations 2020 are legal to ride on the highway, offering a greener alternative to cars and public transport. However, all other e-scooters being used outside of these authorised trials are illegal, making it nearly impossible to obtain insurance coverage for them. This situation creates a paradox, leaving riders and pedestrians in a precarious position.

Legally sanctioned e-scooters can only be ridden by individuals aged 16 or over, holding at least a provisional license. The use of helmets is not mandatory. These e-scooters must adhere to certain specifications, such as not exceeding a speed of 15.5mph, weighing no more than 55kg, and having a motor power output not exceeding 500 watts (double that of e-bikes).

The legal ambiguity surrounding e-scooters carries wide-ranging implications. While e-scooters authorised under the trials have third party insurance coverage, all other illegally ridden e-scooters do not. As a result, riders are personally liable for any accidents, injuries, or losses they cause. Many riders are unaware of this risk when they hop onto an e-scooter. For victims of e-scooter accidents, the lack of insurance coverage complicates the process of claiming compensation. In many cases, even if the rider’s identity is known, they are unlikely to have sufficient financial resources to cover the damages, leaving victims to rely on the Motor Insurers Bureau for compensation, which compensates the victims of uninsured and untraced motorists.

Given the risks posed by uninsured e-scooters, it is crucial to take steps to protect yourself. One option is to check if your Home and Contents or any bespoke Cycle Insurance includes an Unsatisfied Judgment Recovery provision, though identifying the erring scooter rider’s identity and address is a prerequisite for pursuing a claim. These coverages can provide a safety net in the event of an accident involving an uninsured e-scooter, covering medical expenses and other costs.

However, insurance alone cannot prevent accidents from occurring. It is essential for all road users to practice safe driving and riding habits. E-scooter riders must also familiarise themselves with and adhere to the rules of the road.

If you find yourself involved in an e-scooter accident, seeking legal assistance promptly is crucial. Preserving evidence is key in these cases, and a swift response can significantly enhance your chances of a successful claim. Gathering photographs of the accident scene, obtaining witness statements, and maintaining medical records can all strengthen your case. However, dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming, and you may not know where to begin. This is where Cycle SOS can offer assistance. Bob Coupland, Head of Bike Claims at Cycle SOS, emphasises their mission to support cyclists in the event of an accident. With the rise of e-scooters, they are ready to navigate the challenges and advocate for safer streets.

Cycle SOS can handle the legal aspects of your claim, from gathering evidence to negotiating with insurance companies, allowing you to focus on your recovery. For more information about Cycle SOS and the support they provide, visit https://www.cycle-sos.co.uk/.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcock
With over 20 years of experience in the field SEO and digital marketing, Sam Allcock is a highly regarded entrepreneur. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.
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