Safe-D: Safety through Disruption

E-Scooter Design



E-Scooters are a popular new service that provide last mile transportation, and can potentially replace car trips and potentially make transit more palatable, but there are reports of safety concerns for riders and other users of rights of way in areas where e-scooters are already deployed. Very little formal research has been conducted on the safety of this form of transportation as well as the optimal design for e-scooters. Safety concerns may limit widespread adoption of e-scooters as a legitimate transportation option. This project will result in an updated scooter design that will induce safer riding behavior. A study conducted by the Austin Public Health Department (APH) and the CDC found that only one of 190 injured e-scooter users wore helmets while operating the scooter. Almost half of the injured users in this study sustained injury to their head, while over one third of users sustained a bone fracture. Based on interviews conducted with injured users, 50% believed surface conditions (i.e. pothole, crack, etc.) contributed to the injuries they sustained and 19% believe the scooter malfunctioned.

Project Highlights

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Final Report

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EWD & T2 Products

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Coming Soon!

Research Investigators (PI*)

Mike Mollenhauer (VTTI/VT)*
Elizabeth White (VTTI/VT)
Zac Doerzaph (VTTI/VT)
Adam Novotny (Student-VTTI/VT)

Project Information

Start Date: 2020-05-01
End Date: 2023-01-31
Status: Active
Grant Number: 69A3551747115
Total Funding: $287,472
Source Organization: Safe-D National UTC
Project Number: VTTI-00-032

Safe-D Theme Areas

Transportation as a Service

Safe-D Application Areas

Vulnerable Users
Planning For Safety
Operations and Design
Performance Measures

More Information

UTC Project Information Form

Sponsor Organization

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
University Transportation Centers Program
Department of Transportation
Washington, DC 20590 United States

Performing Organization

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
3500 Transportation Research Plaza
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061