The recent emergence of electric scooter (e-scooter) rideshare companies has greatly increased the use of e-scooters around the world, which has increased the number of injuries associated with their use. A primary cause of e-scooter crashes is front-wheel collisions with a vertical surface. This research numerically simulated various e-scooter-stopper crashes across different impact speeds, approach angles, and stopper heights to characterize their influence on rider injury risk during falls. A finite element (FE) model of a standing Hybrid III anthropomorphic test device was used as the rider. The angle of approach was found to have the greatest effect on injury risk to the rider. Additionally, arm bracing was shown to reduce the risk of serious injury in two thirds of the impact scenarios. Most e-scooter rider fatalities are recorded in collisions between a car and an e-scooter. Therefore, crashes between an e-scooter and a sedan and between an e-scooter and a sports utility vehicle were simulated using FE models. The vehicles impacted the e-scooter at a speed of 30 km/hr in a perpendicular collision and at 15° towards the vehicle. The risks of serious injury to the rider were low for the head, brain, and neck, but femur/tibia fractures were observed in all simulations.
- The most injured regions of the body in e-scooter accidents are the head and extremities. These injuries are generally minor to moderate in severity and commonly include fractures and lacerations.
- Although the head is one of the most commonly injured regions, helmets are not required by many states, cities, or companies when using e-scooters
- In FE simulations of e-scooter-bumper impacts, the angle of approach was found to have the greatest effect on injury risk to the rider, and it was shown to be positively correlated with injury risk. Additionally, arm bracing was shown to reduce the risk of serious injury in two thirds of the impact scenarios.
- In the FE simulations of e-scooter-vehicle perpendicular collision, and at 15 degrees towards the vehicle colissions, the risks of serious injury to the rider were low for the head, brain, and neck, but femur/tibia fractures were observed. The primary cause of head and brain injuries was found to be the head-ground impact in cases where such an impact occurred.
EWD & T2 Products
The final datasets for this project are located in the Safe-D Collection on the VTTI Dataverse; DOI: 10.15787/VTT1/GEZTAD.
Research Investigators (PI*)
Start Date: 2020-10-01
End Date: 2023-05-31
Grant Number: 69A3551747115
Total Funding: $365,155
Source Organization: Safe-D National UTC
Project Number: 05-116
Safe-D Theme Areas
Safe-D Application Areas
Operations and Design
Planning for Safety
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
University Transportation Centers Program
Department of Transportation
Washington, DC 20590 United States
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
3500 Transportation Research Plaza
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061