Due to the rising popularity of many new kinds of motorized vehicles over the last several years, more people are beginning to ask themselves just how safe they are. Today we’re going to be looking at electric scooters specifically and answering some relevant safety questions about these fun and speedy devices.
The fact of the matter is that electric scooters are for the most part just as safe as any other kind of vehicle, be it a bicycle or a regular scooter. Many brands are specifically designed with various safety measures like responsive brakes or bright headlights to reduce the chance of an accident.
But like with any vehicle, the operator needs to have a good understanding of their machine and how to use it to maximize their own safety and the safety of others.
While electric scooters have already been around for quite some time, they are more popular now than they’ve ever been. Because many people have either never ridden one before or simply had never even seen one, they are probably prone to assume that they must be more dangerous than your average recreational vehicle.
Perhaps it’s just human nature to be a little afraid or skeptical of things we don’t understand. That’s why we’re going to share some wisdom that will make anyone’s e-scooter riding as protective as possible.
Before even setting foot on your electric scooter it would be best to understand the capabilities of your vehicle. Because there are so many different brands and models these days, each e-scooter will have different specifications and features. All you need to do is figure out where your own electric scooter is when it comes to these specs.
The first thing you should figure out is how fast your e-scooter can go. Some models can only go up to 5 miles per hour while others can go up to 20 miles per hour. Knowing the limits of your scooter’s speed is essential to your safety.
Another important thing to look into is whether or not your electric scooter is waterproof. Some scooters can blaze through rain puddles just fine, but others can receive enough damage from the wetness to cause unstable steering which could result in a crash. Again, this is all about knowing your scooter’s limits and not exceeding them.
A great feature that you should look for in an electric scooter is headlights or taillights. These are perhaps the most important accessory you could ask for when riding outside during the evening or night. Visibility is a top priority for riding safely when it gets dark. You’ll always want to make sure that pedestrians and automobile drivers can see you as you are speeding down a sidewalk or crossing the street.
Similarly, with waterproof capabilities, every scooter is suited to specific kinds of terrain. Just about all of them will work well on asphalt or concrete but not all of them are suited for much else. If your scooter wheels are only designed to work on hard flat surfaces then you will have to avoid environments that are heavy on dirt, mud, sand or even grass. Not only will your speed and acceleration suffer when moving on these surfaces but so will your stability and steering control.
The last thing to be aware of when it comes to your electric scooter’s capabilities is its incline climbing rate. Not all scooters are capable of going up a 30-degree steep hill so avoid these inclines whenever appropriate. Exceeding the climbing rate of your scooter will not only put excess stress on the battery and motor but could result in loss of control.
Once you’ve learned everything there is to know about your electric scooter’s specs, your next step should be acquiring good safety gear. Luckily, riding an electric scooter is less of an athletic exercise and more of a leisurely activity so you won’t have to get too crazy over searching for the perfect equipment.
Just like with riding a bicycle, a helmet is highly recommended when riding an e-scooter. Helmets are to bikes and scooters what seat belts are to cars – they are an essential piece of safety equipment that should be worn at all times.This is the helmet I use and highly recommend. And this is a kids' helmet nephew has been using for a few months (and he has not been complaining about it yet..)
Even when riding at low speeds an accident can still result in getting hit on the head. Whether you’re going at 3mph or 10mph, head injuries can be unpredictably serious. Therefore, a helmet is a vital part of any rider’s gear.
Some people may tell you to specifically get a helmet designed for scooters rather than bicycles or skateboards but you can safely ignore such requests. Electric scooters may be motorized vehicles but that doesn’t mean they can go as fast as a motorcycle. If a helmet is good enough to use for a bike then it will be good enough for an e-scooter as well.
While a helmet protects the most important part of your body, that doesn’t mean that you should stop there and neglect the rest of yourself. Consider getting a couple of knee pads and elbow pads for further protection.
In the event that you fall off your electric scooter, your most basic instincts to break your fall will kick in. Sometimes you’ll end up using the palms of your hands. However, as anyone who has ever gotten a scraped knee before knows, knee pads will allow you to land on your knees without harming yourself.
People often think that a helmet is enough, but they underestimate just how bad knee or elbow injuries can be. If you damage these joints hard enough then you won’t be able to ride your electric scooter for a long time, if at all, and that’s no fun.
Now that you understand the limitations of your e-scooter and have all the necessary protective gear it’s time to go over some simple tips that you can put into effect immediately to make your riding safer. Consider this advice as a means to develop good riding habits as well as some helpful practicing points to help you become a safer and better scooter rider.
One of the biggest misconceptions about electric scooters is that they are more dangerous than regular scooters due to their motors. As a matter of fact, that’s not true. With an electric scooter, you will actually have both of your feet on the board at nearly all times. This is quite unlike a regular scooter where you must use one of your legs to propel yourself like using an oar in a rowboat.
What does this mean exactly? It means that you will actually have more focus and concentration when riding an e-scooter. Not having to worry about manually pushing yourself allows you to better focus on the road ahead. It also makes steering e-scooters easier as you can use all of your body to tilt and move. In other words, electric scooters can actually provide a much more stable ride than regular scooters.
You should keep all of this in mind when you go out to practice riding. Don’t worry so much about your feet and legs. Instead, just focus on where you want to go and let your whole body shift in the directions in your mind. It’s kind of like when riding a bicycle – you’re not focusing on each individual rotation of your feet and the foot pedals, you’re focusing on the path ahead.
Another important tip is to get used to how your electric scooter’s brakes work. Go at the fastest speed that you are most comfortable with and then abruptly squeeze the brake lever. Do it a few times and get a feel for how responsive the braking system is and how long it takes to come to a complete stop. That way you will internalize just how fast you can slow down in the event that you have to use your brakes in a real situation.
If your electric scooter can go on different kinds of terrain then try to test out its stability on them all. Even if you have a scooter that works well on inclines or dirt roads the odds are that it will still feel a little different than going on a perfectly smooth sidewalk.
We hope that in reading this article you have not only learned a lot about electric scooter safety but have realized that riding these great vehicles is not nearly as complicated as some make it out to be. Electric scooters today are safer than they’ve ever been thanks to more of them being waterproof, having more responsive brakes and being made out of more durable metal and materials.
As long as you remember our simple yet important tips then you will have no reason to worry when cruising on your e-scooter outdoors. Be responsible but also remember to relax and have some fun.
Last update on 2020-01-22 at 10:15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.