SEOUL, March 28 (Korea Bizwire) — A private research institute has called for the protection of pedestrians from electric scooters by reducing their maximum speed.
A reduction in the maximum speed limit from the current 25 kilometers per hour to 20 km per hour shortened the stopping distance by 26 percent from 7 meters to 5.2 meters, according to tests conducted by the Samsung Traffic Safety Research Institute.
If the maximum speed limit is reduced further to 15 km per hour, the stopping distance would shorten further to 2.4 meters.
Previous studies showed that if a personal mobility device operating at a speed of 25 km per hour collides with a pedestrian, the probability for the pedestrian to have a serious injury reached 95 percent.
If the operating speed is reduced to 20 km per hour, it can reduce the impact force by 36 percent. If the speed is reduced further to 15 km per hour, the impact speed can be lowered by 64 percent.
At present, e-scooters are allowed to operate on bike paths. As of 2020, 76 percent of domestic bike paths took the form of bike and pedestrian shared paths.
According to a survey on the driving safety of e-scooters conducted by the Korea Consumer Agency last year, 69 percent of users replied that they used sidewalks, where e-scooters are banned from operating.
The number of e-scooter traffic accidents that were filed as car insurance claims with Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Co. has been on an upward trend, rising from 878 cases in 2019 to 1,447 cases in 2020 and 2,177 cases in 2021.
J. S. Shin (email@example.com)