Micro-Mobility Accidents Continue to Rise

According to a survey conducted by the US federal government on injuries and deaths related to micro-mobility in 2022, injuries associated with all micro-mobility devices increased by nearly 21% compared to 2021.

Mary T. Boyle, Commissioner of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), expressed concerns about the data during her speech at this week’s PeopleForBikes SHIFT’23 conference, specifically regarding electric bicycles. She added that the CPSC coding system does not have a separate code for electric bicycles. “So my guess is that the number of accidents might be underestimated.”

The survey estimated that from 2017 to 2022, there were a total of 53,200 emergency room visits related to electric bicycle accidents, accounting for approximately 15% of the overall estimated micro-mobility injuries during the same period. Since the study was based directly on emergency health records, it could not determine whether injuries and deaths were proportional to changes in the use of various micro-mobility devices, including electric scooters, hoverboards, and electric bicycles.

According to the CPSC, there were 233 deaths related to micro-mobility devices between 2017 and 2022, showing an increasing trend year by year. Injuries related to micro-mobility devices have been on the rise since 2017, with an estimated average annual increase of 23%. There were a total of 104 deaths related to electric bicycles from 2017 to 2022, with electric scooters having the highest proportion and the highest number of fatalities. The high speed and limited protective equipment significantly increased the likelihood of accidents. The number of accidents in 2022 increased by 22% compared to 2021, and the accidents in the past year accounted for more than half of the total accidents in the past six years. The number of deaths related to electric bicycles was relatively lower than that of scooters.

Motor vehicle accidents and control issues were the primary dangers associated with electric bicycle fatalities. Additionally, fires were a significant cause of incidents involving all micro-mobility devices. The CPSC found that between January 1, 2021, and November 28, 2022, 19 people died due to fires related to micro-mobility devices. Most fatalities involving electric bicycles and scooters were related to collisions with cars.

The report revealed that women were more likely to be injured while using hoverboards, while men were more prone to injuries while riding electric bicycles and scooters. Children aged 14 and below and Black consumers had a higher proportion in injury data. Children under 14 accounted for 18% of the US population, but their accident rate reached 36%. Black people represented 13% of the US population but constituted 29% of micro-mobility traffic accidents.

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