Survey: Cycling and scooter use under the influence increasing in Estonia
According to a survey commissioned by the Estonian Transport Administration, almost 12 percent of adult cyclists have ridden a bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the past year.
As many as 20 percent of adult electric scooter users surveyed have ridden under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the past 12 months, with half of them having done so on more than one occasion.
Men aged 34 and under were the group most likely to have ridden electric scooters while under the influence of alcohol, as well as Estonian speakers who live in Tallinn or other large cities.
All those who had ridden an electric scooter while under the influence of alcohol were aware they were contravening traffic rules when doing so.
"Given the number of accidents involving electric scooters, the number of inebriated users is particularly worrying," said Raul Rom, traffic expert at the Transport Administration.
Three percent of electric scooter riders surveyed, said they had been involved in a road accident over the last 12 months, with an additional one percent saying they had narrowly avoided accidents.
During the same period, three percent of adult cyclists surveyed had also been involved in road accidents, with a further two percent narrowly avoiding collisions.
The overall ration of people involved in road accidents or unsafe situations on the road has generally averaged between 4 and 10 percent, with this year's figures slightly lower than usual, according to the survey results.
The survey also revealed an overall increase in the proportion of cyclists who wear helmets while riding. According to the survey, 30 percent of adult cyclists wear a helmet regularly, however, as many as 56 percent said they never wear one. When it comes to children aged 4-15 years, 81 percent usually wear a helmet when cycling.
Of those using electric scooters, only eight percent said they always, or often wear a helmet. The vast majority of scooter users, 83 percent, never wear a helmet, while a further six percent said they do, but rarely.
At the same time, 93 percent of the Estonian population aged 14 and over consider it necessary to wear a helmet when riding an electric scooter. 24 percent consider it necessary for children under the age of 16, while 68 percent of those surveyed think both children and adults should have to wear a helmet.
During the study, which was conducted in September this year by Turu-uuringute AS and commissioned by the Estonian Transport Administration, 1,002 people aged 15 and over living in Estonia were surveyed.
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Editor: Michael Cole