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What to do if you have an accident with an e-scooter

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The past twelve months have seen a veritable boom in e-scooters in Swiss cities among young and old alike. What many people do not know is that traffic rules also apply to e-scooters. We explain and show how you are insured in the event of a claim.

You have an important meeting today, but you've been dawdling and are now pressed for time. It would take you 15 minutes to walk to the bus stop. By a stroke of luck, there's a rental e-scooter standing ready right beside the front door.

In your hurry, you rashly cut a few corners and ride over the sidewalk – and that's when it happens. You didn't see the elderly lady approaching clutching an expensive vase, and even less did you see the consequences of riding so fast. The vase is shattered to pieces. Luckily, the lady is unhurt. But who is liable to pay her compensation for the broken vase?

  • Teaser Image
    Same coverage as when cycling

    Electric scooters are treated as bicycles under traffic regulations. So, if an accident happens with an e-scooter, damages to third parties are fully covered under personal liability insurance.

    Learn more

E-scooter riders are required to comply with traffic laws 

But there is a catch in our scenario: Liability insurance will cover any damage caused. But recourse may be had against the rider because he or she disregarded the traffic laws by mounting the sidewalk. There are also rules in place for riding e-scooters. In Switzerland, they are basically the same as for cyclists:

  • The sidewalk is off-limits! E-scooters belong on the cycle path or on the road.
  • The maximum speed is 20 km/h.
  • You must use arm signals to indicate that you want to turn, just as you would when riding a bicycle.
  • In addition, the minimum age for riding an e-scooter is 14. 14- to 16-year olds require a category M (mopeds) driver's license. Riders aged 16 or above do not need a driver's license.
  • Wearing a helmet is recommended, but not mandatory.

Traffic offenders face the following penalties

Traffic offense Amount

Riding on the sidewalk in a pedestrian zone or on a footpath

CHF 40
Ignoring pedestrians' right of way CHF 30
Riding without lights on a road that is lit at night CHF 40
Riding without lights on a road that is not lit at night CHF 60
Riding without lights in a lit tunnel CHF 20
Not using the cycle path/cycle lane (if available) CHF 30

Tips for electric scooter riders

  • Acquaint yourself with the Swiss traffic rules and the risks associated with riding an e-scooter.
  • Before you use an electric scooter on the road for the first time, practice on private land and, where possible, get an expert to explain to you how to operate it. 
  • Keep to the cycle paths and observe Switzerland's road traffic rules.
  • Wear a helmet and elbow pads.
  • E-scooters are made for one person only. Never ride an e-scooter together with someone else – and that includes children.
  • Test the brakes and the braking distance – e-scooters react differently depending on the make and model. The braking distance can be anything up to three meters.
  • Cars and pedestrians are also road users. Remember that when you are out and about with your e-scooter.

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