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Riding an electric scooter is both fun and environmentally friendly. You can enjoy the fresh air without worrying about you doing any environmental damage. It is a fun, cheap, and efficient way of moving around. But like any vehicle, certain risks always come with riding an electric scooter. It is very important to understand electric scooter safety and how to utilize them properly. In this article we outline 7 scooter safety tips that we think every electric scooter rider should know.According to EurekaAlert, the number of electric scooter injuries and hospital admissions grew by 222% to more than 20,000 injuries in the United States just between 2014 and 2018.
Another study by Austin Public health and the CDC calculated that for every 100,000 electric scooter trips, 20 scooter users ended up with some kind of injury. A road is an unforgiving place. A little mistake can cause a lot of damage and rider safety and utlizing safety equipment should be your utmost concern.
How Safe is an Electric Scooter?
The safety of any vehicle like the electric scooter depends on the rider. Do you ride scooter safely or dangerously? If you ride carefully, respect others and the rules, then everything will go smoothly without any issues.
Now, if you do not do any of the things mentioned above, then there will always be high chances of an accident or even worse. It’s all about your behavior while riding.
Here are some tips for you while riding an e-scooter:
Keep both hands on the handlebars
Someone might have texted you, and you think, “Let’s check it out; maybe he/she messaged me,” and you try to reply quickly. Then, everything goes sideways because you chose to look at a message.
Never do this. Keep your hands on your electric scooter’s handlebar at all times. When riders get overconfident in their ability to drive on their e-scooters, an accident may happen.
This is a big mistake, and people usually learn it from experience. For example, people have said that they let go of one of the handlebars to message a friend or their parents that they are coming soon or not to wait for them.
Instead of stopping their vehicle, they slowed the vehicle down to text and BAM! The next second, they are on the ground, with scrapes on their arms and legs and maybe a broken phone. We don’t want you to get injured or end up with a broken phone.
Cons on riding with only one arm.
Riding with only one arm on the handlebars is dangerous, especially on electric scooters due to the small area of contact on the road with the tire. When compared to bikes, you are riding on much smaller wheels thus you have less ground clearance and traction.
This makes it difficult to transmit jolts and bumps much more prominently for the rider. When we ride, we use both of our hands to make any small adjustments that can help us even out the balance point.
Now, when we remove an arm (or both) out of this equation, we only have one arm to adjust with the road, making it difficult to drive and the scooter starts to tilt in the opposite direction. Even if you’re riding on a smooth sidewalk or in protected bike lanes, it is never a good idea to take your hands off the handlebars.
Tip: If you want to use your phone, just stop the scooter for a second and save yourself a lot of time and money.
Check Your Tires
Always assess your scooter’s tires before using them. A quick preview can save you a lot of money and time and even might save your life. It is quite dangerous to ride an electric scooter with a damaged tire or a tire with low pressure.
it can be a dangerous thing for you if you have a habit of jumping on to your scooter every time without paying any heed to the tire. You can do much better. Damaged electric scooter tires can lead to injuring yourself and scooter injury and you sometimes have to pay for damage to someone else’s vehicle.
If the tires are not in a good shape, the rider can easily lose control. If you have an inflated tire, please check the pressure and look for possible damage. Also, If you have solid tires, kindly look for damage and loose screws.
How to Check Tire Pressure
- You need to have a tire pressure gauge and a pencil
- Start with the cold tires if possible; a tire is cold if the vehicle has been parked for three or four hours or more. Or if you have driven for less than a mile in moderate distance
- Check the manufacturer’s PSI recommendation
- Write the recommendations for each tire
- Check the PSI using the tire pressure gauge
- If you have an air compressor, then fill the tires. If not, go to the mechanic to fill them
Do an Inspection before Riding
Inspecting your vehicle can help you a lot. Are all screws on the deck? Are the wheels and handlebars in the proper condition or not? Checking before riding is important but if it’s too demanding and you just don’t have the time, then do a weekly inspection, but remember to do it.
At least, make sure to check the battery level before riding the vehicle. Make it a habit; it will go a long way and help you a lot. Then expand this habit by adding a few more things to your checklist. By implementing this habit, you will guarantee yourself a safer ride.
Here are some things you can check regularly
- Must check the tires for sufficient pressure
- Check the folding mechanism of the vehicle
- Check the functionality of the brakes
If you are not doing regular check-ups, then make sure to do the weekly or biweekly inspections. You can always do both regular and weekly/biweekly inspections.
If you are doing regular check-ups, just do the following check-ups:
- Check if any screws or bolts are loose or not.
- Check whether your brake plates are bent or not.
You must take a note of your vehicle after every ride, check the battery life, brakes, speed controller, grips, and a belt if there is one. You should pay attention to the little details of your vehicle.
Ensuring that your scooter is in optimal condition is very important for the safety of the rider. After buying your scooter, ensure that you go through the owner’s manual and get familiar with how your scooter is built. You don’t need to go in-depth, but basics can surely help ensure the optimity of your safety.
Keep your eyes on the road
Keep your eyes on the road at all times. Now, this may seem like an obvious tip. You would think “yeah, I always keep my eyes on the road. I don’t need you to tell me about it.” But, to err is human. We all make mistakes and sometimes we don’t keep our eyes on the road.
We may be distracted by something while riding or you may start to enjoy the view and observe your surroundings. People are naturally curious but this is a rather bad habit to have while riding an electric scooter or any other vehicle.
While riding an electric scooter you are on small wheels with little traction and unless you have a high-end electric scooter, you have limited suspension. A bump of the road, speed breaker, or a hole in the asphalt can effectively wipe you out if you don’t pay attention to the road.
Recovering your balance can become a very difficult thing for the very same reasons. And not to mention, most people ride e-scooters in urban areas, but most people aren’t used to e-scooters being on the road, thus making it more important for you to observe the road.
Always keep your eyes on the road and be a few seconds ahead of everyone. Think faster, act faster, and be observant. This can help you avoid an accident. It is important to respect the speed of your scooter even when you are going slow and easy.
Benefits of using eye protection
Wearing some eye protection can help you keep your eyes on the road. They can also protect you from all those nasty bugs that get in your eyes when riding, even at a slow speed. This is annoying and is also quite dangerous.
Not only does eyewear help with bugs, but also helps you with the blinding sun rays. The summer rays especially hit the hardest, so it’s better to wear some cheap sunglasses to help you on the road.
Use a proper helmet
As per statistics, head injuries are one of the most common injuries associated with electric scooter accidents. On the road, anything can happen. You can’t control every aspect on the road; there will always be something you can’t control or predict.
Irresponsible drivers and human error can make a deadly combination. Not every accident can be averted, so we must prepare in advance. Safety gear can sometimes be the difference between life and death, or becoming paralyzed and having to spend your life in a wheelchair or bed.
Most of the people involved in such accidents fall off a moving scooter and hit their head against the pavement. So, it’s much better to wear a helmet as it will shield your head from coming in direct contact with the hard surfaces. A bicycle helmet can go a long way to protecting you from a serious head injury.
Many times, it can also protect the user’s face from getting injured or severely bruised. Always make sure that you have a helmet with you when you use the scooter. You don’t know when an accident may happen and it becomes the most useful in saving your life.
As mentioned, a bike helmet is a minimum you should have while riding. If you use a fast electric scooter, then it is recommended that you use a full face helmet that will protect your jaw/chin in addition to the face and head. A motorcycle helmet or mountain bike helmet would be the best choice if you want to go for additional protection.
Another safety tip: Wear additional protective gear to keep yourself safe. While it looks a little silly, wearing wrist guards, elbow pads and knee pads is the key to preventing scooter related injuries.
Be Conscious of Hazards in the Road
Keep an eye for barriers and defects on the road such as bumps, potholes, and crevices.You should also be on the lookout for uneven pavement. These hazards are one of the main reasons why electric scooter accidents happen. Always maintain your focus on hazards and carefully avoid them by slowing down or stopping if necessary.
The best way to deal with barriers is to remain calm and slowly decrease your vehicle’s speed until you come to a complete stop. If it is not possible for you to stop, then what you can do is immediately head towards a region with much clearer traffic.
Mind puddles carefully. They might appear harmless but can be quite dangerous. They easily hide holes and other crevices that could cause you a serious injury. Keep a slow speed when using a scooter in wet weather. It’s always best to stop whenever possible to do it.
During the rainy season, take extra caution while riding the scooter as there are many other dangerous things aside from puddles. Be cautious of slippery and wet surfaces such as wet streets, marble tiles, metal surfaces, and muddy sidewalks.
Water especially makes it difficult for your tires to support your vehicle and this is more difficult in the case of electric scooters. Water on the road might potentially cause injuries. Ensure that you keep a low speed while traveling on a wet road.
Equip Your Scooter with Proper Lights
A thing that many electric scooters lack is proper lights. Proper lighting is a crucial thing while traveling in low-light settings. When you are out at night, you want to see the road in front but you also want a pedestrian, bicyclist or other motor vehicle drivers to see you to avoid any unnecessary collision or accident.
Most of the headlights in electronic scooters are not powerful enough to properly illuminate the path in front of you, so it is highly recommended that you go and acquire an external light with more lumens and attach it to the handlebar.
Keep in mind while buying the headlight that it should be powerful enough to help you see the road and make you visible to oncoming traffic. A good quality LED headlight for your scooter can be easily acquired at bicycle stores or online.
Rear lights or taillights are as important as the headlights but they don’t need to be as bright as the headlights. They are just supposed to clearly show your position for the traffic coming behind you.
Like their counterparts, the tail lights attached to your electric scooter aren’t bright enough, so it is recommended that you buy some additional ones. You can also attach a bright clip on a LED that can be easily attached to your backpack and used as a rear light.
The low mounting position of the rear lights on the rear fender sometimes make even the most effective rear lights useless. This low position near the ground can be rather problematic.
Now, you know some tips to keep you safe while riding an e-scooter. Make sure to follow-through and make them a habit.
Frequently asked questions and answers