In-Depth Examination of E-Scooter Safety: A Case Study of Austin, Texas

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Date

2023-08

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Safe-D National UTC

Abstract

While gaining widespread popularity in cities worldwide, electric scooters (e-scooters) have also raised significant safety and other concerns since their emergence in the United States in late 2017. This study addressed these concerns by examining e-scooter safety using multiple data sources. The study utilized data collected from two main sources in Austin, Texas, spanning a period of 4 years (2018 to 2021): hospital emergency room patient records obtained from Dell Seton Medical Center and crash data obtained from Texas Department of Transportation’s Crash Records Information System. Further, field-based micro-level built environment data from the study area as well as macro-level demographic,socioeconomic, and built environment data from publicly available sources was collected. The findings highlighted the importance of improving consistency in incident and injury reporting as well as the development and integration of data from different sources. The exploratory analysis revealed key insights on injured e-scooter riders as well as injury and crash patterns. The findings underscored the importance of targeted safety education, interventions addressing alcohol and drug use, infrastructure planning, and time/location-specific measures to enhance e-scooter safety and reduce incidents. A notable finding pertained to intersections, underscoring the need for improvements in visibility, implementation of traffic calming measures, and provision of education specifically tailored for micromobility riders.

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Keywords

micromobility, e-scooter, crash injury severity, hospital data, crash data, safety analysis, targeted interventions

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