Electric scooter injuries soared on Israel's roads in 2019

While the total number of accidents represented a slight decrease since last year, the number of fatal accidents increased by 14% from 200 to 228.

Bird electric scooters (photo credit: BIRD)
Bird electric scooters
(photo credit: BIRD)
Serious accidents involving electric scooters have soared in Israel this year, according to new figures published by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).
Between January and September, 373 electric scooter accidents resulting in injury on Israel’s roads were reported to the police, more than double the 143 accidents recorded during the same period in 2018.
A total of 391 individuals were injured, compared with 154 last year. Among the injured, 27 suffered serious injuries and 364 were slightly injured. Some 142 people were hospitalized as a result of their wounds.
Electric scooters have soared in popularity in Israel over the past year, with several international and domestic scooter rental companies launching services in Tel Aviv and neighboring cities.
On Sunday, the Jerusalem Municipality commenced the deployment of dozens of shared electric scooters as part of a pilot project in the city, in collaboration with manufacturers Bird, Lime and Wind. Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan-Nahoum posted a video today of her testing scooters as part of the pilot.
The pilot will take place in the Har Hotzvim area of Jerusalem over the course of several weeks, after which it will be decided whether to expand the activity to additional areas in the city.
According to CBS data published to coincide with the start of Road Safety Week, a total of 9,429 road accidents resulting in injury were reported to the police by the end of September – a 1% decrease compared with the first nine months of 2018. Some 17,157 people were injured altogether.
While the total number of accidents represented a slight decrease since last year, the number of fatal accidents increased by 14% from 200 to 228.
Since January, 961 electric bicycle accidents causing injury or fatality were reported to police, a significant decrease compared with 2018, when 1,361 accidents involving electric bicycles were recorded.
A total of 1,027 individuals were harmed, including 12 fatalities, 79 severe injuries and 936 slight injuries. A further 400 people were hospitalized following accidents that were not reported to police, including 121 individuals who suffered serious injuries.
During the past decade, Israel has witnessed a sharp decline in road fatality rates per 100,000 inhabitants, decreasing from 4.6 in 2009 to 3.6 in 2018. The number of injuries per accident, however, has only slightly declined from 2.0 in 2009 to 1.8 in 2018.
According to full-year figures for 2018, 69.3% of all accidents occurred in urban areas. Almost half of urban accidents (48.4%) took place at junctions.
Only 1.5% of accidents that occurred in urban areas resulted in fatalities, and 15.5% caused severe injuries. A total of 4.1% of accidents in non-urban areas resulted in fatalities and 15.5% caused severe injuries.
The data also revealed that Arab-Israelis represented 31% of those injured and 29.4% of those killed in accidents, despite only constituting 20.9% of the population. A total of 11 Arab-Israeli children (below 14 years old) were killed in 2018, representing more than one-third (34.4%) of all children killed on the nation’s roads.
Among those injured in road accidents, approximately 60% were men and 40% were women, the data showed.
Idan Zonshine contributed to this report.