Typically, when we think about who we share the road with aside from other drivers, we think of pedestrians and cyclists. The relationship between drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists is a fraught one as is, but there is a new road user on the block, and their introduction to the roads is bringing with it a whole new set of dangers.
E-scooters, segways, and hoverboards are not necessarily new, but their presence on the roads has increased drastically in the past few years, and that increase is having a serious impact on safety. In the UK, new statistics obtained by Sky News show that more than 1,000 incidents involving electronically powered scooters alone have occurred in the past three years.
Reporting on this new information in the Telegraph, Mike Wright gives a run down of the sorts of incidents that have been reported in the past few years.
"Among the incidents reported were a segway colliding with a pram and an elderly man being hospitalised [sic] after being hit by an e-scooter in Cheshire, four boys on segways "playing chicken in the road" in Northumbria and one person using a hoverboard on an escalator."
The high number of incidents gives a good indication of how common these forms of transportations are on UK roads. And yet, in the UK, it is illegal to ride e-scooters, segways, or hoverboards in traffic, including sidewalks and any public roads. While the nature of the incidents that have occurred seem like evidence why they should be illegal, there is a downside too - a lack of legislation governing their use.
E-scooters, segways, and hoverboards are likely here to stay, and to continue to rise in popularity. While they may seem like fads to some, there were probably a few people who felt the same way about bicycles in the early 19th century. Outlining clear guidelines for the safe use of this technology on the roads accepts the inevitable while still making safety a priority.
For more on this story, check out the article in the Telegraph.