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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.