According to a survey commissioned by VOOM, the world’s first on-demand, telematics-based insurtech platform for specialized mobility, 80% of e-scooter riders claimed they do not wear a helmet consistently or at all. This, despite 40% of riders having been in an e-scooter accident or know someone who has, and a growing awareness surrounding the dangers of micro mobility.
E-scooter across the US are being reported at record-high rates. In Florida, Tampa General hospital reported a 500% increase in injuries over the last year; in Atlanta, two fatalities were reported this summer; in Chicago, at least ten accidents were reported during a six-day pilot program. As e-scooter accidents plague these cities and others around the world, many observers wonder if riders are taking adequate precautions to protect themselves.
According to the survey, the existence or lack of bike lanes poses a major security concern:
- Over 60% of respondents will ride e-scooters even if proper bike lanes are not in place, opting instead to ride on sidewalks or wherever they can.
- Over 30% of millennials (32%) are concerned about the lack of bike lanes available when riding, which is a bigger share than any other cohort.
“Recent injuries – and even fatalities – attributed to e-scooters have only exemplified the risks associated with these devices. While millennial riders may acknowledge these dangers, they continue to admit to riding recklessly and are not taking necessary precautions to prioritize their safety,” said Tomer Kashi, CEO and Co-Founder of VOOM. “There is a dire need for effective solutions, whether that be better laws, increased awareness of self and public safety, or suitable insurance policies that fully cover riders and their surroundings.”
The largest e-scooter companies in the US place the responsibility for accidents on the user alone as part of their rental agreements, a fact most scooter riders are unaware of. With many respondents admitting to unsafe habits, a significant number of riders express an interest in insurance policies to cover them in the event of an accident:
- 62% of millennials are concerned about harming themselves or others when riding an e-scooter.
- 46% percent of respondents chose personal accident coverage as most important when considering insurance coverage, followed by third party liability insurance, and lastly, the scooter itself.
- 74% of respondents want a model of insurance that reflects the on-demand nature of e-scooters preferring pay-per-ride or monthly rather than annual insurance plans.
The survey, conducted in June 2019, was jointly carried out with Google Consumer Surveys based on a representative sample of more than 1,000 regular e-scooter riders from the United States, aged 18-65+.