Admiral believes current reported e-scooter accident numbers are the ’tip of the iceberg ’

Insurers could be bracing for an uptick in claims as data from insurer Admiral revealed a rise in e-scooter accidents - the insurer has recorded 52 e-scooter accidents this year alone, which is four times’ the number reported between January and June 2020. 

Admiral predicts that accidents involving e-scooters and cars will increase this year - to mitigate this risk, it has issued an e-scooter myth buster, to help road users navigate the rules around e-scooters. 

Adam Gavin, Admiral’s deputy head of claims, explained: “As the world of transport is evolving, it’s important all road users understand the current rules in place for using e-scooters, to avoid being hit with hefty fines, penalty points or even having the device seized.

”The rules currently state that anyone who owns a private e-scooter cannot ride on public roads, pavements or cycle lanes. As it’s illegal to do so, if caught, riders could be given an on-the-spot fine.

”In fact, only permitted rental e-scooters are allowed to be used in certain English towns and cities taking part in the trials across the UK.”

Reinforcing Admiral’s statistics, 18 e-scooter riders were issued with warnings during a day of action on 1 July by Dorset Police, reported the Bournemouth Echo.

According to the newspaper, individuals who have been handed a warning now risk being reported for traffic offences - their e-scooter could be seized should they be stopped riding illegally again.  

Furthermore, a Northampton man was smacked with an 18-month driving ban last week after he was caught riding a rented e-scooter while twice over the drink driving limit, according to the Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Gavin said: “With e-scooter trials now taking place in more than 30 locations across England, there’s no doubt they’re going to become even more popular on our roads as they offer a cheap, easy and environmentally friendly way for people to get around. 

“However, with the rise in the number of people using e-scooters comes an increase in risk for all road users, including motorists who have an additional hazard to look out for.

”So far this year, Admiral has seen a spike in the number of accidents reported to us involving e-scooter riders, with 52 registered to date.

”Although this may not sound like a lot, it’s a big difference compared to the start of last year, where there were just 13 accidents reported to us in total from January to June 2020.

”Our data shows there is a definite trend in the number of accidents involving drivers and e-scooter riders and we believe the number of accidents will continue to rise.” 

Tip of the iceberg  

Gavin continued: “These scooters have a top speed limit of 15 mph and riders must only use them on the road and cycle lanes, or risk being handed a fixed penalty notice. 

”There have been several reports in the media about e-scooter riders being involved in accidents with both motorists and pedestrians and we’ve certainly seen more incidents reported to us this year.

”We think this could just be the tip of the iceberg as many cases go unreported and as more people use e-scooters and roads get busier, we believe the number of accidents will increase. 

“When lockdown restrictions ease across the UK and people start commuting once again, we want to remind all road users to be more alert to try and prevent serious accidents.

”Motorists need to be aware of the additional e-scooter traffic and be extra vigilant, while anyone looking to hire the devices need to keep themselves and others safe.”

Gavin advised riders to remember to wear a helmet, ensure they have a valid provisional driving licence and double check the rental e-scooter operator has the correct insurance in case an accident occurs. 

 The total number of e-scooter accidents reported to Admiral: 2017 to 2021 
Date Number of accidents reported 
 July–September 2017  2
 October-December 2017  2
January-March  1
 April-June  3
 July-September  3
 October-December  4
January-March  7
April-June  6
July-September 25
October-December 22
January-March  22
April-June  30