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Assessment of the Segway's safety characteristics

Germany plans to give technical approval to a vehicle called Segway in the not too distant future. For this reason German Insurers’ Accident Research conducted a study which assesses the safety characteristics of the Segway. The study covers hand­ling tests with trained and untrained test persons. ­Additionally the driving characteristics and capabilities of the Segway were tested. Finally two crash tests were conducted: The first test assesses the risk for a pedestrian hit by a Segway. The second test assesses the risk for the Segway driver during a collision with a car. The results show that driving a Segway is quick to learn. Nevertheless to brake and to avoid hitting something or somebody in critical situations in traffic needs to be trained. The Segway offers a safety level compa­rable to a bicycle. All things considered, driving a Segway carefully in traffic can be done without any additional safety risk. ­Nevertheless crash tests showed that hitting a pedestrian at 15 km/h can lead to serious injuries. In addition the driver of a Segway can suffer serious injuries during a crash with a car. Finally the German Insurers’ Accident Research calls for driving the Segway mainly on bicycle paths. If no bicycle path exists, it should be used on side-walks at a maximum speed of 6 km/h rather than on roads.