New research from insurer More Than shows that 40% of Brits feel more anxious when they see increasing numbers of e-scooters being used on the road, with 56% believing that e-scooters are making roads more dangerous.
The research, conducted by Censuswide on behalf of More Than, the car, home, pet, travel insurance, and life insurance brand of RSA Group, was revealed to coincide with National Road Victim Awareness Month in August and support a campaign to encourage all users to share the road safely.
According to the research, only 28% of a nationally representative sample of 2,024 general respondents in the UK agree that there is enough information available on how to ride an e-scooter safely.
In the UK, more than 30 areas, including London, Newcastle, Nottingham, York, are operating e-scooter rental schemes to help people get around.
Currently, only e-scooters ridden through these government-backed trials can be used on public roads (except motorways), while the use of private e-scooters on public roads, cycle lanes or pavements could incur a fine, penalty points or confiscation.
Despite this, More Than’s research found that 83% of respondents have seen e-scooters riding along the pavement, with 21% of those saying that they have seen this occur “very often”.
Thirty-one percent also said they have witnessed an accident involving an e-scooter colliding with a car or pedestrian.
When asking those who have used e-scooters in the last 12 months, the survey found that 63% are aware of the safety rules and regulations around riding them.
With the government currently considering where the law should stand on electric scooters in the future, More Than said its research highlights the need for a clear regulatory framework around their use.
Commenting on the research, Nick Kitchen, personal lines underwriting director at More Than, said: “E-scooters certainly have potential benefits, offering a convenient and eco-friendly way to get around for shorter journeys, while easing congestion on the road. However, it’s crucial that they’re used safely and within the law to avoid putting riders, pedestrians and other road users at risk.”
More Than is calling on the UK government to consider the results of recent e-scooter trials and develop a “a clear regulatory and legislative framework to ensure they’re used safely”.
Kitchen continued: “Further clarity is required in areas such as age requirements, power limits, licensing and the mandatory wearing of helmets. There also needs to be greater transparency around how people involved in an accident caused by an e-scooter can access compensation for the damages or injury caused.”
“We’re ready to work alongside the ABI (Association of British Insurers) and government to understand the options for the legislative framework around e-scooters. Once we know what these rules will look like, the industry can start to consider designing appropriate insurance solutions that will meet the needs of owners and riders in the future.”