UNC-led team selected to develop national guidance for e-scooter safety
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (June 30, 2020) – The Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program (BTSCRP) has funded a $490K study to examine emerging safety issues related to electric scooters (or e-scooters). The project seeks to advance multimodal road safety by identifying safety risks emerging from the growing use of e-scooters and developing comprehensive guidance, tools, policy options, and educational materials to mitigate those risks.
Researchers at the UNC Highway Safety Research Center will lead the effort in close partnership with a multidisciplinary group of transportation experts at UNC-CH’s Department of City and Regional Planning (DCRP), University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK), Populus, Rebecca Sanders of Safe Streets Research & Consulting, and Charles T. Brown of Equitable Cities. HSRC’s Dr. Laura Sandt will serve as the Principal Investigator on the project.
“As e-scooters become increasingly commonplace, policymakers will need to quickly respond to emerging technologies and changes in public demand for micromobility,” said Dr. Sandt. “Equipping transportation practitioners and decision-makers with a comprehensive toolbox of equitable and evidence-based approaches to mitigate safety issues related to these technologies will improve safety and accessibility for all road users.”
The project is expected to generate concrete guidance for e-scooter management, along with a report that will 1) describe the state of use/exposure and safety trends among e-scooter users and markets; 2) identify contributing factors (both behavioral and environmental) to safety risks; and 3) summarize how cities are working to support, manage, and/or regulate the use of e-scooters to prevent and mitigate injuries and provide a series of case studies highlighting real world practices. The research and guidance will provide evidence-based strategies and supporting tools for e-scooter safety actions that can be integrated into state and local highway safety plans, policies, programs, and projects.
This effort builds upon the team’s prior research on e-scooters, including a recent project developing a series of new ICD-10-CM codes to categorize injuries related to micromobility devices, a study of e-scooter use, crashes, and near misses in Arizona, and several team member projects investigating e-scooter equity, travel behavior, and safety in cities and states across the US.
Work on this 30-month project begins in June 2020. Learn more about this project here.