Soaring number of drivers report crashes and near misses with e-scooters

Insurer records 10-fold rise in just 2 years despite scooters’ illegal status

The number of incidents between cars and e-scooters has risen 10-fold in just two years, according to one leading insurer.

Admiral says that reports of such incidents from its customers doubled between 2020 and 2021 and were 10 times the number in 2019.

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Electric scooters are illegal for use on the road but the insurer is urging motorists to be wary of riders flouting the rules as their popularity soars.

Claims data from Admiral’s records shows that 143 incidents involving e-scooters were registered in 2021, more than double the 65 reported in 2020 and more than 10 times the 13 cases reported in 2019.

The insurer’s head of claims said that while the numbers remained small they were a sign of a growing issue, adding: “Even one accident is one accident too many, so if you’re driving please be extra vigilant – particularly when visibility is poor.”

A survey of customers found that as well as those who reported specific cases, one in five Admiral customers had been involved in a collision or near-miss with an e-scooter.

Official figures also show an increase in accidents involving e-scooter.

Police data gathered by Admiral shows some forces saw a 300% rise in e-scooter accidents between 2020 and 2021 and Department for Transport figures released last year revealed that 484 e-scooter-related casualties were recorded in 2020, including one fatality and 128 serious injuries.

In 2021 police across 29 UK forces confiscated more than 1,500 e-scooters being used illegally - a 456% rise on confiscations in 2020.

E-scooters are only legal for use on private land or within specially designated trial areas. They cannot be used on the road because they are classed as powered transport and so need to meet the same requirements for lights, tax, insurance and MOT as cars and motorbikes. Despite that, many riders continue to use them on the roads or on pavements, where they are also illegal.

Lorna Connelly, head of claims at Admiral, commented: “Most people agree that e-scooters seem like an excellent way of getting from A-B, particularly in towns and cities with high traffic congestion.

“While a ten-fold increase in accidents sounds significant, the numbers are still fairly small but the increase certainly reflects the fact that e-scooters have surged in popularity.

“The world of transport is evolving, so it’s important that infrastructure evolves alongside it to meet demand and keep all road users safe. If e-scooters are made legal on UK roads, it’s essential that safety for all road users is the top priority.”