Is micromobility commuting safe enough for employers to invest in the services for their employees? You’ll need to answer that critical question before you offer micromobility options to your employees.
What is micromobility?
Micromobility refers to small vehicles that can’t reach the speeds of cars, motorcycles, and other such vehicles. Examples include:
- Electric scooters
- Traditional scooters
- Bicycles (both traditional and electric)
- And more
The growing availability of such vehicles has already significantly impacted how many workers commute to their jobs. This is particularly true in densely populated cities, where many don’t own cars or rarely use them. Micromobility vehicles provide a more efficient and convenient alternative to relying on public transportation or walking to work.
Will commuting with micromobility vehicles be safe?
Offering your employees the option to get to work with micromobility vehicles is beneficial for many reasons. You may be reluctant to provide this benefit due to concerns regarding employee safety. This is understandable, but early research indicates that commuting on a micromobility vehicle is relatively safe and safer than other more popular ways to get to work.
Micromobility is relatively new, and research covering the degree to which workers are safe when commuting to their jobs with the help of these vehicles is currently limited. However, early research about the safety of micromobility vehicles in general has revealed findings and data that reflect positively on micromobility.
One of the best ways to get perspective on how safe micromobility vehicles are is to compare micromobility accident statistics to auto and pedestrian accident statistics. Data from the U.S Department of Transportation reveals that traditional auto accidents claimed the lives of more than 36,000 people in America in 2019. In that same year, pedestrian accidents resulted in greater than 6,000 deaths.
According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, the number of deaths linked to micromobility vehicles over the last three years was fewer than 100. This early data suggests that using a micromobility vehicle to get to work is a much safer option than driving or walking.
Why micromobility is safe
There are various reasons micromobility may be safer. These vehicles can’t reach high speeds. Accidents involving them are less likely to result in major injury than accidents involving cars, trucks, and other vehicles traveling at faster speeds. Unlike pedestrians, those operating micromobility vehicles may be better able to avoid hazards like oncoming traffic quickly.
How to keep employees safe using micromobility vehicles
None of this is to say that micromobility vehicle users can never be harmed in collisions. To ensure your workers are as safe as possible when commuting with such vehicles, keep the following tips in mind:
- Train employees thoroughly and ensure they possess all necessary licenses when applicable.
- Equip employees with helmets, reflective attire, and other protective equipment.
- Offer employees area maps with clearly marked bike and scooter lanes and encourage them to use those lanes whenever possible (unless local laws prohibit doing so when operating certain vehicles).
- Prioritize vehicle maintenance and regularly check vehicles for damage.
- Familiarize employees with the warning signs that indicate a vehicle may require maintenance or repairs.
- Alert employees to any poor road conditions when you are aware of them and discourage employees from commuting with micromobility vehicles in poor weather conditions.
- Ensure there are vehicle safety measures, including headlights, taillights, high beams, and brake lights. Scooters also need a bell and good brakes.
Micromobility vehicles are different than cars. It is important that employees remain safe by learning as much as possible about the vehicle. That includes checking to see how much power the vehicle has left in it, including the mileage per battery charge. They also need to learn to check for things like whether the speed of the traffic on the route is appropriate.
An alternative to traditional commuting
Allowing workers to commute with these vehicles can result in shorter commutes, greater employee safety, and, potentially, a more engaged workforce. You simply need to take all necessary steps to ensure your workers are prepared to operate these vehicles safely and properly during their trips to and from the office.
With employees returning to the office, now is an excellent time to discuss commuting with them. Not everyone is ready to take public transportation so offering micromobility can be a great option for them.
If you’re interested in offering micromobility commuting to your team, Edenred has several options that can help you out. Those options include e-scooters, e-mopeds, and e-bikes for people with short commutes. Our partners will help your employees learn about the vehicle they use and to ride with a good posture.
If micromobility looks like a good option for your company, book a meeting with us today. We’d be happy to help!