Kiwi e-Scooter injury rate continues to fall; First fatality in NZ; Safe riding tips

Latest figures show the rate of injuries resulting from accidents while riding e-Scooters in New Zealand continues to plummet, even as private ownership soars and Sharing Scooters expand across cities around the country.

We first reported on this falling trend in our article e-Scooter accidents fall 41% in 4 months on 26 June, and now they’re down to just one-third of their peak. This downward trend is likely to continue on a per-owner, per-ride, and per-kilometre travelled basis going forward, as riders become more experiences, infrastructure improves, and more rider choose to wear appropriate clothing and helmets. As private ownership and sharing scooter use increases this summer the absolute numbers may increase over winter lows.

Alas, despite these interesting and revealing facts some media reporting on this topic still tends to still go for the sensational headline instead….sigh.

ACC e-scooter claims to July 2019.jpg

First fatality

Tragically, the first fatality in New Zealand caused by a fall from an e-scooter occurred in Auckland this week. A man died in hospital several days after being seriously injured while riding a Lime sharing scooter along the Auckland waterfront. According to reports, the e-scooter has been inspected and no physical or software faults have been found, and this information has been passed to the Coroner.

According to the NZ Herald, Auckland Council’s director of regulatory services, Craig Hobbs says:

“At this stage, Auckland Council has not been given any information which may suggest a mechanical failure of the e-scooter involved in this tragic incident.

“All details relating to the cause of this incident are now with the Coroner and, as such, we are unable to provide any further information at this stage. We can however confirm that we have received no other reports of mechanical issues with e-scooters either prior to or after this incident.”

Hobbs said the council was currently in the final six weeks of phase two of its e-scooter trial, and would soon be evaluating what had been learned during the trial.

“Safety has always been paramount to us, and balancing this with significant demand for micro-mobility options is something that many cities around NZ and the world are grappling with.”

According to findings reported in the New Zealand Medical Journal “working males over 50, and people between 20-29 were the most likely to crash on an e-scooter.” Anecdotal observation would suggest usage is highest amongst 20-29 year olds.

The NZ Herald interviewed study co-author Paul Monk why claimed: “There is an uncanny ability with human beings to find new ways to injuring ourselves. We see this new technology spike classically if you look at the introduction of Segway, kite-surfing, e-bikes.”

Segway New Zealand does not agree with Monk’s claim with respect to there being a high incidence of injury when the Segway Personal Transporter (PT) was introduced. Rather, the Segway PT has proven to be an incredibly safe and stable platform – including for mobility impaired users who make up the largest single user group in New Zealand – and it has an exceptional safety record. The Segway PT itself has full redundant sub-systems, and is intuitive and easy to control. Unlike every other vehicle a person learns to use, the Segway PT takes just minutes (think back to how long it took you to learn to ride a bike, drive a car, skates, or even how to use a KickScooter safely….by comparison learning to safely ride a Segway PT takes almost no time at all).

Safe Riding Tips

Segway New Zealand urges all riders of e-scooters to follow the manufacturers instructions for use, obey New Zealand’s road rules for e-scooters, ride at a safe speed and wear an approved helmet. Start by riding slowly, and always ride carefully. Remember, it takes practice and time to gain experience when learning to ride any new vehicle. Appreciate and understanding the limitations of a device with small wheels, especially with respect to braking ability and maintaining stability and control on uneven or slippery surfaces. Even experienced riders expose themselves to risk of serious injury or death every time they ride.

Take a moment to read our important article for Ninebot by Segway ES1, ES2, ES4 and Max riders: KickScooter riders MUST do this (for safety).

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