With more and more electric scooters on Swiss streets every year the number of accidents is rising. In 2021, there were around 2,500 accidents involving electric scooters in Switzerland, according to an estimate by Suva, a public insurer.
The latest figure is three times the 800 accidents involving electric scooters estimated by Suva in 2019. Not all of the accidents in the Suva figures involved reports of injury.
In 2020, the federal roads office (FEDRO) recorded around 200 electric scooter accidents involving injuries. There will be accidents that are not reported to FEDRO, Nicolas Kessler, a spokesperson for the accident prevention bureau BPA, told RTS. According Kessler, electric scooter accidents are clearly on the rise in Switzerland.
Certain patterns are clear from the data. In over a quarter of accidents involving only the rider, alcohol was the main cause. Among those involving a third party, the main cause was a failure to yield to the party with priority. In 63% of these accidents the third party and not the rider of the scooter was at fault.
One problem is the difficulty other road users have distinguishing between electric and non-electric scooters. Electric scooters travel much faster. So it is easy for a motorist to underestimate a rider’s speed if they believe a scooter isn’t electric when it is.
Most serious injuries were among men aged 25 to 44 and most accidents occurred at dusk or night.
With the rise in accidents new regulations on electric scooters may not be far away. One idea is to require scooters to have indicators to allow riders to signal turns. Speed limits and restrictions on their use in certain zones are other possibilities.