E-scooters in rental fleets cause significantly more accidents than privately used scooters, according to the German Insurance Association.
Rental scooters are responsible for more than half of all e-scooter accidents, although only one in four scooters in Germany belongs to a rental fleet.
According to GDV data, in 2022, around 571,000 insured e-scooters in privately owned caused around 1,850 damages, while 193,000 rental scooters caused around 2,350 damages.
We have a safety problem with e-scooters, and this problem primarily comes from the users of rental fleets in large citiesJörg Asmussen, GDV Managing Director
As a study by insurers’ accident research (UDV) shows, safety depends largely on who uses the e-scooter.
Frequent riders usually use scooters to get to work, are over 30, ride on the bike path or on the street, wear a helmet more often and in many cases have their own scooter.
Occasional riders, on the other hand, are younger on average, almost exclusively use rental scooters for trips in their free time and ride on the sidewalk more often.
Another issue arises from e-scooters’ interaction with pedestrians, as according to figures from the Federal Statistical Office they seem to collide with pedestrians more often than cyclists do.
This shows that many e-scooter drivers do not use the cycle path or the street, but rather the sidewalk, even though that is exactly what is forbidden.
According to the GDV figures, if other people are injured by e-scooters, comparatively high damage is caused.
On average, personal injuries result in expenses of over EUR 13,000, for example for treatment costs, loss of work and compensation for pain and suffering,.
Insurers assume a high number of accidents in which e-scooter drivers alone are injured. However, since drivers in such cases are not compensated by motor vehicle liability insurance, insurers do not have any concrete figures for such accidents.
As a consequence of their findings, insurers are calling for the problems caused primarily by rental scooters to be addressed on several levels.
Among other things, e-scooter users should be required to provide basic proof of competency to participate in road traffic: “So far, scooter drivers do not have to have any knowledge of the rules at all.
We, on the other hand, advocate that in the future they must at least prove that they have the right to drive a moped, which in Germany young people aged 15 and over are allowed to do
In order to better protect pedestrians on sidewalks, public order offices and the police should also consistently enforce the applicable rules. Further improvements could result from the expansion of the infrastructure and technical adjustments.
Larger wheels and indicators could provide more stability and safety.
by Yana Keller