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E-scooters: The New Kid On The Transport Block. How can e-scooter riders improve their safety and avoid collisions?

Unit(s) of assessment: Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience

Research theme: Safety and Security of Citizens and Society

School: School of Social Sciences


Since 2020, e-scooters have become an integral part of the broader concept of micromobility. Their introduction to urban landscapes held the promise of reshaping cities into more environmentally friendly and less congested spaces. However, the roads have witnessed numerous collisions involving e-scooters, rising doubts about their contribution to Vision Zero and smart urban planning. The rapid adoption of e-scooters has outpaced the establishment of comprehensive guidelines for safe riding practices. This has led to incidents of reckless riding and non-compliance with regulations. The lack of familiarity with the rules and limited experience in operating e-scooters have emerged as significant factors contributing to unsafe riding behaviours and subsequent accidents.

The Project

NTU provided support for a series of comprehensive studies aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of the profile of e-scooter riders and non-riders, as well as their riding habits and aberrant riding practices. The research also examined participants’ familiarity with current e-scooter regulations through various real-world riding scenarios. Both e-scooter riders and non-riders were asked to indicate whether certain manoeuvres were legal and to outline their course of action in these scenarios.

The results unveiled a lack of familiarity with e-scooter regulations among both e-scooter riders and non-riders, especially regarding rules related to parking and speed limits. Moreover, there seemed to be uncertainty surrounding specific elements of the designated infrastructure where e-scooters are allowed to be used. Participants' likelihood of engaging in illegal riding behaviour was also evaluated. The results revealed that a more comprehensive understanding of the existing rules generally corresponded to a reduced proneness towards engaging in illegal riding practices.

The research underscored the necessity for educating and training road users on e-scooter safety measures.

Working with the local community

This project is part of the Co(l)laboratory initiative which is dedicated to supporting research projects with the objective of enhancing the well-being of communities throughout Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. In collaboration with the University of Nottingham and the Nottingham City Council our efforts are directed towards developing a training program tailored for e-scooter riders while also exploring how to effectively integrate e-scooters within the broader transportation ecosystem, including other forms of micromobility.

We are excited to announce that soon we will advertise a fully funded PhD opportunity to support the project. Stay tuned for more updates!

Impact and Knowledge Exchange

This research also aimed to provide potential safety recommendations to the government should private e-scooters become legal. The outcomes of the project were submitted as evidence to Parliament in response to inquiries about the progress made in assessing e-scooter safety, with findings from the ongoing trials for the E-scooters: follow-up inquiry published in February 2023. The paper can be accessed here.


The project has been granted funding by the British Academy to further investigate the causes of e-scooter collisions and exploring potential strategies for effectively reducing them. Poor hazard perception and risk calibration skills are among the most prevalent reasons for making mistakes while driving cars, and both depend on experience. Since e-scooters are a relatively new mode of transportation, it is likely that riders have underdeveloped hazard perception and risk calibration skills. This project will evaluate the hazard perception and risk calibration skills of e-scooter riders, whether they are related to collision rates, and investigate whether training in e-scooter safety can enhance these skills. Currently, there is an absence of training or guidance on safe operation of e-scooters and this project will address the pressing need for such training.


Ventsislavova, P., Baguley, T., Antonio, J., & Byrne, D. E-Scooters: Still the New Kid on the Transport Block. Assessing E-Scooter Legislation Knowledge and Illegal Riding Behaviour. (under review) Accident Analysis and Prevention AAAP-D-23-01122

Available at SSRN.