E-Scooters: Are They a Good or Bad Thing? Survey Data

19th May 2021 Personal Injury

Electric scooters, or e-scooters, have grown in popularity in recent years for their ease of use, portability and environmentally friendly qualities. However, the law regarding e-scooters can be easily misunderstood and there are concerns over safety. JMW Solicitors launched a survey to find out the public’s knowledge and opinions on e-scooters.

Here, we take you through the key trends identified from the survey of more than 1,000 people and provide all the data from the results.

One quarter of people have used an e-scooter

Results from the survey revealed that 25% of respondents have used an e-scooter, while 61% admitted they were open to riding one. Some 13% of people own an e-scooter - at the moment, privately-owned e-scooters can only be used on private land and are not allowed to be ridden in public.

Of those who own an e-scooter, 70% think that they can be used in public, which suggests that these owners may be breaking the law as only rental e-scooters can be used in public. From 1st August 2020, it became legal for rented e-scooters to be used in public with the Department for Transport publishing guidance that included:

  • Banned use of e-scooters on pavements
  • A speed limit of 15.5mph
  • Recommendations to wear a helmet

Despite this guidance, 68% of e-scooter owners think the contraption can be used on pavements, while 12% admitted to not wearing a helmet.

Significant lack of knowledge around e-scooter law

Our survey highlighted a real lack of knowledge around the rules of using e-scooters, with more than half of respondents (52%) admitting to not knowing the related law. More than a quarter (29%) think that a privately-owned e-scooter can be used in public and 16% think e-scooters can be used on the pavement.

Furthermore, despite 65% of people thinking that e-scooters are safe, the majority (44%) don’t know enough to make a decision regarding e-scooters being made legal - 41% said that e-scooter usage should be made legal.

Do you know the law related to e-scooters.jpg

Answer ChoicesPercentageResponses
Yes, I know the law19.44%216
I think I know the laws28.17%313
No, I don't know the rules52.39%582

More than half of people think e-scooter use should be licenced

The survey revealed that 56% of respondents think e-scooter use should require a licence, similar to driving. When asked to explain their answer, most responses were related to safety concerns:

  • “I believe all cyclists and scooter users should pass a test, have insurance and be required to wear a helmet to be on the road.”
  • “It would regulate their use and mean you can be fined for being unsafe on one.”
  • “Due to the speed they can travel and the potential damage that could be caused in a collision.”
  • “It’s a motorised form of transport, even if it is electrical, therefore, you should pass a test, get a licence and be insured, that way the rider may use their e-scooter more responsibly.”

Majority of survey respondents want e-scooter to be age restricted

The majority of participants (85%) expressed that e-scooter use should be age restricted, with 82% of respondents suggesting use should only be allowed for over 16s, while a quarter said use should be restricted until a person is over 18 years old.

Respondents also believed that riders should receive the same safety advice as cyclists (93%), with e-scooter users having to wear a helmet (88%) and high-visibility clothing (74%).

The full survey results

How safe do/would people feel riding an e-scooter in the following places?

How safe do would people feel riding an e-scooter in the following places.jpg

Very UnsafeUnsafeNeither Safe nor UnsafeSafeVery Safe
On the road38.01%32.20%15.38%10.55%3.85%
In a bike lane on the road13.51%22.00%20.93%35.78%7.78%
In a bike lane separate from the road8.05%11.36%15.21%45.80%19.59%

What reasons have incentivised/would incentivise you to use an e-scooter?

What reasons have incentivised would incentivise you to use an e-scooter.jpg

Answer ChoicesPercentageResponses
To save time40.88%457
To make my journey easier31.75%355
For fun40.07%448
To be considerate to the environment34.26%383
To save money24.78%277
To avoid congestion29.43%329
To avoid having to find car parking26.48%296
To avoid having to get public transport29.07%325
To get to places not served by public transport27.46%307
As back up to my usual mode of transport15.21%170
Other (please specify)6.89%77

Can you use a privately-owned e-scooter in public?

Can you use a privately-owned e-scooter in public.jpg

Answer ChoicesPercentageResponses
I don't know38.61%429

Can you use an e-scooter on the pavement?

Can you use an e-scooter on the pavement.jpg

Answer ChoicesPercentageResponses
I don't know36.99%411

Do you think e-scooter usage should be made legal?

Do you think e-scooter usage should be made legal.jpg

Answer ChoicesPercentageResponses
I don't know enough to make a decision44.10%490

Do you think e-scooters are safe?

Do you think e-scooters are safe.jpg

Answer ChoicesPercentageResponses

How safe would you feel as a pedestrian sharing the pavement with e-scooter users?

How safe would you feel as a pedestrian sharing the pavement with e-scooter users.jpg

Answer ChoicesPercentageResponses
Very Unsafe25.69%278
Neither Safe or Unsafe21.90%237
Very Safe3.51%38

What age do you think people should be allowed to ride an e-scooter?

What age do you think people should be allowed to ride an e-scooter.jpg

Answer ChoicesPercentageResponses
Under 12 years old3.42%37
12 years old4.44%48
13 years old1.76%19
14 years old4.81%52
15 years old3.51%38
16 years old33.09%358
17 years old9.15%99
18 years old14.79%160
Over 18 years old25.05%271

We're Social

Richard Powell is a Partner and Head of Department located in Manchesterin our Personal Injury department

View other posts by Richard Powell

Let us contact you


COVID-19 Update - Our website and phone lines are operating as normal and our teams are on hand to deal with all enquiries. Meetings can be conducted via telephone and video conferencing.

View our Privacy Policy