14. Januar 2021, 08:54 Uhr | Irina Hübner
E-scooters have only been approved for road use in Germany since mid-2019.
For the first time, accident figures from three quarters - including the summer season - are now available for e-scooters. The German police recorded a total of 1570 accidents involving mini electric vehicles from January to September 2020 in which people were injured or killed.
As reported by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), a total of 7 people were killed in the first three quarters of 2020. 269 e-scooter users were seriously injured and 1,096 slightly.
The figures now allow a comparison with other means of transport, such as bicycles: Here, the police registered around 73,293 accidents with personal injury involving cyclists throughout Germany in the same period. 351 cyclists lost their lives, 14,128 were seriously injured, and 59,633 suffered minor injuries.
E-scooters therefore still play a comparatively minor role in accidents. However, the number of e-scooter accidents with personal injury increased in the spring and summer: While there were 252 accidents with personal injury in the first quarter of 2020, there were already 417 in the second quarter. The number of accidents was highest in the third quarter: from July to September, the police recorded 901 e-scooter accidents in which people were injured. Four people were killed, 145 seriously injured and 627 slightly injured.
The significance of the accident figures from 2020 is doubtful because of the Corona pandemic. After all, the overall volume of traffic was significantly lower last year, which also led to a decrease in the number of accidents. From January to September, the police recorded around 1.68 million road accidents. This was 15.4% fewer than in the corresponding period of the previous year.
This development was particularly visible during the period of the first lockdown in the spring and in the months thereafter: Overall, the police recorded around 26% fewer road accidents from March to the end of June 2020 than in the same period last year. The number of traffic fatalities in these four months was at an all-time low of 895 - the lowest figure for March to June of any year since German unification in 1990.
E-scooters have only been approved for road use in Germany since the Ordinance on Very Small Electric Vehicles came into force on June 15, 2019. The users must - if available - use bicycle lanes or protective lanes. Otherwise, they are to use lanes or hard shoulders, and the use of sidewalks is prohibited. Drivers of e-scooters do not need a driver's license, but they must be at least 14 years old. In terms of alcohol, the generally accepted 0.5 per mille limit applies. People under 21 and those new to driving licenses are not allowed to consume alcohol of any kind if they want to drive scooters.