NTSB researchers conducted a mix of methods to identify e-scooter and e-bike crashes between 2017 and 2021. They performed an independent analysis of news reports and cross-checked information with other non-standardized data sources.
The study found that 119 fatalities occurred in the US between 2017 and 2021, a figure that is likely underestimated because of the lack of complete and standardised data to correctly identify e-scooter and e-bike crashes.
Researchers pointed out that accurate monitoring is the best way to improve safety for vulnerable road users who ride micromobility devices. This evidence provides information to determine the best interventions that improve safety.
“Rather than reacting after a crash occurs, transportation agencies should use data-driven tools to preemptively assess underlying risks in the system and provide countermeasures to reduce those risks,” said the researchers in the report.
The finding is in line with micromobility operators’ proposal to create an observatory to produce independent data on users and accidents to be shared with Paris city authorities.
To address such challenges, NTSB identified the need to monitor e-scooters and e-bikes specifically, with their own codes, including trip data such as vehicle miles traveled and traffic volume trends.
As a result of the assessment, the agency issued new safety recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Center for Health Statistics, and the Governors Highway Safety Association.