Bird Publishes e-Scooter Safety Report

Santa Monica, Calif., April 3, 2019 – Bird today released a report, “A Look at e-Scooter Safety: Examining Risks, Reviewing Responsibilities and Prioritizing Prevention.” The report, which was prepared under the guidance of, and with input from, David Strickland, former Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Chair of Bird’s Global Safety Advisory Board, analyzed internal Bird data as well as information available via third parties to produce an analysis of the safety of shared e-scooters.

Key findings of the report include:

e-Scooters and bicycles have similar risks and vulnerabilities.
Both Bird’s internal data and independent research suggest an injury rate that is similar to bicycling.

Replacing car trips can help increase safety for all road users.
Cars killed more than 6,000 pedestrians in the U.S. in 2018 alone. Data across cities indicate that e-scooters are replacing a significant portion of car trips. On average, 30% of Bird trips are trips that would have otherwise been taken by car.

Bike lanes boost safety for all.
Bird’s rider surveys uncover a strong demand for wide and more protected bike lanes. Experience from several cities show that bike lanes and other Vision Zero-related infrastructure investments effectively reduce crash risk for all road users.

“Bird has a shared priority with cities on road safety and the safety of our communities,” said Paul Steely White, Director of Safety Policy and Advocacy at Bird. “Our research aligns with recent studies from cities showing that scooters are about as safe as bikes; replacing car trips with more scooter trips can help reduce the most serious crashes; and the most impactful thing cities can do to improve safety for all vulnerable road users— e-scooter riders, bicyclists and pedestrians alike— is to invest in more safe infrastructure.”

The report also identifies areas for future research, and, to further lower crash risk, recommends additional investment in proven safety infrastructure improvements and policies that encourage the documented “Safety in Numbers” phenomenon whereby growing ridership heightens motorist sensitivity and lowers crash rates.  

Five safety steps for cities:

1) Design safer streets – The majority of fatalities and severe injuries sustained by Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs) are caused by motor vehicle impacts.
2) Maintain safe street conditions – Smooth streets play a key role in crash prevention.
3) Reduce car and truck speeds – Vehicular speeding is a leading cause of death and injury on urban streets.
4) Reduce car trips – The biggest threat, by far, to pedestrians and other VRUs comes from cars and trucks.
5) Unlock safety in numbers and the ‘Virtuous Cycle’ of safety – Policies that increase the number of pedestrians, e-scooter riders, or cyclists increase the individual safety of walking and e-scooting and bicycling, while policies that suppress ridership increase danger.

The full report can be found here: A Look at e-Scooter Safety: Examining Risks, Reviewing Responsibilities and Prioritizing Prevention.
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