Media Technology

Social Media Platforms and E-scooter Safety Promotion 

Electric scooters or e-scooters are being acknowledged as the next main transportation craze in urban areas (check out E-scooter companies such as Lime, Bird, and Skip have a great number of dockless scooters in major cities around the globe which are available for rent.

However, with the rising count of riders of electric scooters, the accidents involving e-scooters have escalated as well.

There have been reports of deaths around the world that are scooter-related, and ERs say that they have observed an increase in scooter-related injuries too such as broken bones as well as head injuries. This doesn’t include bruises, bumps, cuts and scratches that don’t necessitate a visit to the ER.

But, after major instances involving e-scooters, companies of scooters frequently mention safety as a topmost concern and priority. In October of 2018 in California, for example, a class action court case was filed on behalf of the scooter riders who were injured. This lawsuit was against Bird and Lime, claiming that the mentioned companies circulated scooters that were incapable of enduring the day-to-day use and abuse. Moreover, it was alleged that these equipment didn’t incorporate sufficient information regarding safety. In reply, the company Lime mentioned to the San Jose Mercury News that they have place safety “at the very core” of their business. The company Bird on the other hand disclosed in a statement that their very topmost priory is safety. However, as per a study that particularly focused on Bird, there’s an inconsistency about what the company tells about safety and the message it imparts via its account on Instagram.

Social Media Platforms and E-scooter Safety Promotion 

The researchers who are both connected with the University of Southern California, studied the 324 Instagram posts of Bird between September of 2017 and November of 2018. Approximately 69% of their posts contained individuals. Only 6% of those posts have shown scooter riders wearing the appropriate protective gear, and merely 1.5% indicated about safety anywhere in captions of the photos.

Furthermore, the Instagram account has reposted pictures of users riding e-scooters without any safety or protective gears wherein, according to the researchers, gestures and implies to its followers of about 70,000 that Bird allows for the use or riding of e-scooters without a safety helmet.

Social media accounts of other scooter companies seem to be more fixed on encouraging safety. The majority of photographs on Spin’s and Skip’s account on Instagram, for instance, portray riders with safety helmets while the account of Lime contains a blend of riders with and without safety helmets. Lime, Spin, and Skip have quite a lot of posts particularly committed to promoting and pushing for the use of helmet.

Evidently, Instagram is only one of the many social media platforms that scooter companies make use of to promote their business. If these scooter companies are sincerely committed to safety, their social media accounts must highlight and encourage safety, such as the use of proper safety gears, since these platforms are great spot to campaign for those beliefs.