This blog gives you an overview of the Bolt scooter safety report for 2022. Read the full report.
2022 marks the fourth year since the launch of Bolt’s e-scooters. During this time, we’ve expanded our operations to over 200 cities across Europe.
We’re proud to offer an affordable, accessible, and sustainable last-mile solution appreciated by riders and communities alike. And we’re not stopping anytime soon in our mission to make cities more livable.
However, just like sustainability, ensuring safety is also at the heart of our mission. Putting our users first in everything we do is a core Bolt value.
Our ability to adapt to the ever-changing safety needs of our community is what makes us a mobility frontrunner.
Bolt’s safety vision
“A critical part of delivering the best possible customer experience across our mobility products — from ride-hailing to car-sharing to micromobility — is to make sure that all customers can reach their destinations safely.”
Markus Villig, CEO of Bolt
Our vision for safety goes beyond compliance with regulations. We aim to create a new standard for electric scooter safety that sets a new industry benchmark and can be a role model for others to follow.
However, we cannot bring our vision of safe micromobility to fruition alone. Progress towards our vision relies on the shared collaboration of policymakers, cities and communities, scooter riders, and operators.
In addition to ensuring the safety of our product and service, we constantly work to educate all micromobility stakeholders on the importance of safety.
This report is one example of how we share our learnings and best practices with industry to help make cities safer for everyone.
2021 in numbers
2021 has been our busiest year yet for scooter use. The number of Bolt e-scooter trips increased by 400% compared to the previous year.
But this wasn’t the only positive trend we saw. Let’s take a look at the others:
While the total number of e-scooter accidents increased between 2020 and 2021, along with the total number of rides, the accident rate per 10,000 rides decreased by 13%.
The injury rate per 10,000 rides dropped even more — by 26%.
Such a decline in accident and injury rates shows that while e-scooter ridership continues to grow, we’re making progress in our ongoing efforts to improve safety.
Similarly, we saw significant improvement in accidents and injuries per 1 million km of riding distance.
Accidents involving Bolt e-scooters per 1 million kilometres travelled showed a 12% improvement compared to 2020.
Injuries per 1 million kilometres travelled decreased by 26%.
(Accidents and injuries are reported through the Bolt app, and injuries can include anything as small as a minor graze or bruise.)
Given that these improvements happened during a major increase in ridership, it’s clear that we’re scaling rapidly and responsibly.
Even though electric scooter accident reporting methods are inconsistent across the industry, public data suggests that our riders experience injuries at a significantly lower rate compared to our peers.
And while this makes us proud, we’re not resting on our laurels. We know that there’s always room for improvement when it comes to safety.
We’re constantly working on new ways to make our scooters even safer — for riders and pedestrians alike. Let’s take a look at some of the things we’ve been working on.
Bolt’s safety programme
Every year brings new opportunities and challenges when it comes to safety. That’s why we have a comprehensive safety programme that’s constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of our riders and communities.
Our safety programme includes three key pillars:
These pillars work together to create a comprehensive safety strategy tailored to the unique needs of each city we operate in.
Product is the first pillar of our safety strategy, and for a reason: a safe product is the foundation of a safe service.
Bolt was fully in charge of designing and manufacturing the Bolt 4 scooter, which is deployed in the vast majority of our scooter markets.
This approach gave us complete control over the quality, safety testing, and more — allowing us to ensure that our e-scooters are safe for riders.
Our latest scooter is the Bolt 5 — the safest and most advanced electric scooter in our fleet.
“Our flagship e-scooter model is built based on the feedback from cities and users. The goals of our city partners and Bolt are aligned — we’re looking for the best ways to integrate micromobility into the public transport infrastructure of urban communities.”
Dmitri Pivovarov, VP of Bolt Rentals
Bolt 5 has several safety features that enhance the already high safety standards of our previous models, such as:
Bigger wheels – A 12’’ front wheel for better stability, handling, and control.
Hydraulic suspension – Improved absorption of bumps and other shocks to increase comfort when riding on most roads and pavements.
Controlled stopping power – The front electromagnetic brake and a rear drum brake help riders manage speed efficiently and stop the scooter without losing balance.
Front and rear indicator lights – Improved visibility to increase travel safety, even in low light conditions.
The product alone isn’t enough to keep our riders safe. We constantly engage with our users through different channels to educate them about how to ride safely.
This could be anything from in-app messages and push notifications to blog posts, social media content, or even physical events where users can learn how to ride safely.
For maximum safety, we introduced a safety toolkit in our app, which is available to all users. Using the safety toolkit, riders have access to:
Beginner mode: limit the maximum speed and learn how to ride an e-scooter (Bolt was the first e-scooter operator to introduce this feature).
How to ride tutorials: a series of step-by-step tutorials that show users how to ride safely.
Safety tips: reminders about responsible and safe riding.
Local rules: a list of local regulations and requirements that riders need to know.
In addition, we offer helmet giveaways via our application and social media channels to encourage users to wear a helmet when they ride our scooters.
Encouragement of responsible parking
Parking scooters responsibly is not only a courtesy but a critical safety requirement. Bolt e-scooters must work for all members of the community (not just riders) and especially for vulnerable groups, such as people with sight loss.
This includes taking our messages from the app directly to the streets with physical campaigns directed to specific areas where parking problems have occurred.
An example of this is our campaign in Vilnius, Lithuania, where we partnered with local authorities and launched our ‘Nedėk skerso’ campaign (translated as ‘Don’t block the pavement with your scooter’).
The campaign’s message urged Bolt users to consider their fellow commuters when ending a ride.
We plan to launch similar campaigns in other cities across Europe to continue educating our riders about responsible and safe parking.
In-app safety features
While education is essential, we’re taking active steps to prevent unsafe behaviour and ensure the safety of riders, pedestrians, and other road users.
We do this with the help of our in-app security features to identify unsafe riding and take action when necessary. Let’s take a look at some of the measures we’ve put in place:
Tandem riding prevention
One of the more dangerous misuses of e-scooters is tandem riding, which means two or more people riding one scooter simultaneously. This creates risks not only for both riders but also for pedestrians and other road users.
To prevent this from happening, our engineers developed a patent-pending tandem riding prevention feature that aims to stop the practice of two people riding the same e-scooter simultaneously.
The feature can detect sudden weight changes and automatically sends a notification to the user through the Bolt app to warn them about the dangers of tandem riding.
Intoxicated riding prevention
Riding under the influence is not only dangerous; it’s also illegal in many cities. Alcohol and other substance abuse impair users’ judgment and reaction times, leading to accidents.
To help prevent intoxicated riding from happening, we implemented a cognitive reaction test in the app.
When the share of intoxicated driving accidents is at its highest, our app will prompt users to take a short reaction test before starting their ride.
If users don’t pass the test, our platform encourages them to take a Bolt ride to their desired destination.
Tyre skidding can pose a particular hazard to e-scooter riders and pedestrians. This usually happens when users drive at high speeds, due to hard braking, or during sharp turns.
We’re currently rolling out a skid detection feature. The feature detects the scooter’s rear wheel locking up due to rapid braking and alerts the user via their app.
Ensured safety, insured riders
Despite our best efforts to make Bolt electric scooters as safe as possible, accidents can unfortunately still happen.
To manage this risk, we’ve partnered with Allianz, one of the world’s leading insurers, to provide the safety net our e-scooter users need in busy urban environments.
Nearly all Bolt electric scooter riders are now covered by two types of insurance as soon as they start a ride. Our riders in Germany, France, Malta, and Poland are insured with the help of other partners. The single rental fee covers everything without any hidden extra charges.
The first type of coverage, Personal Accident Insurance, insures riders for potential severe injuries and provides financial support until a rider fully recovers.
The second tier is Rider General Liability, which covers damages caused to third parties while riding Bolt e-scooters (provided a rider hasn’t broken Bolt’s Terms & Conditions or traffic regulations).
Safety’s not a destination. It’s a journey.
There’s no finish line when it comes to safety. It’s an ongoing marathon with different obstacles to overcome along the way, requiring constant effort and vigilance.
We also understand that every city is different — with its own unique challenges and dynamics. Tailoring our approach to each specific environment is the only way to ensure that we provide the safest possible service to our riders and the community.
Our commitment is not only reflected in the numerous safety features we’ve developed but also in the formal recognition we’ve received from the world’s top safety certification bodies.
We’re proud that Bolt was granted an ISO 45001 certification for Safety Management Systems in 2021.
This was just a glimpse into the many safety initiatives we’re working on at Bolt. We have an exciting schedule of new features, partnerships, and other initiatives that will continue to improve the safety of our products and advance the wider micromobility industry’s approach to safety.
We hope you’ve found this blog post helpful in better understanding the safety features of Bolt electric scooters. For more detailed information on the topics mentioned, read Bolt’s annual e-scooter safety report 2022.