The number of incidents between cars and electric scooters has increased 10 times in just two years, according to a leading insurer.
The Admiral says reports of such incidents from his customers doubled between 2020 and 2021 and were 10 times higher than in 2019.
Electric scooters are illegal for use on the road, but the insurer is urging motorists to be wary of drivers who flout the rules as their popularity soars.
Complaints data from Admiral’s records show that 143 incidents involving electric scooters were recorded in 2021, more than double the 65 reported in 2020 and more than 10 times the 13 cases reported in 2019.
The insurer’s claims manager said that although the numbers remained low, they were a sign of a growing problem, adding: “Even one accident is one too many, so if you are driving be very careful, in especially when visibility is poor.”
A customer survey found that in addition to those who reported specific cases, one in five Admiral customers had been involved in a collision or near-miss with an e-scooter.
Police data collected by the Admiral shows some forces have seen a 300 per cent increase in e-scooter accidents between 2020 and 2021 and Department of Transport figures released last year revealed that 484 e-scooter related casualties have occurred. recorded in 2020, including one death and 128 serious injuries.
In 2021, police from 29 UK forces confiscated over 1,500 illegally used electric scooters – a 456% increase in confiscations in 2020.
Electric scooters are only legal for use on private land or in specially designated test areas. They cannot be used on the road as they are classed as motorized transport and therefore must meet the same lighting, tax, insurance and MOT requirements as cars and motorcycles. Despite this, many cyclists continue to use them on roads or sidewalks, where they are also illegal.
Lorna Connelly, Claims Manager at Admiral, commented: “Most people agree that e-scooters seem like a great way to get around AB, especially in cities with heavy traffic.
“While a tenfold increase in accidents seems significant, the numbers are still quite low, but the increase certainly reflects the fact that electric scooters have grown in popularity.
“The world of transport is changing, so it is important that infrastructure evolves in parallel to meet demand and ensure the safety of all road users. If electric scooters are made legal on UK roads, it is essential that the safety of all road users is the top priority.