Electric scooters are on the rise, and we are soon beginning to see how they have the potential to reshape our urban transport. Not only is it convenient, but it also reduces traffic congestion. Therefore, you should know how to ride an e-scooter safely.
At present, rental electric scooters have expanded to more than a dozen cities such as Washington, San Jose, Denver, Miami, Los Angeles, and Dallas.
Despite its potential, riding an e-scooter isn’t all fun and games. In fact, in the three years (2018-2021), 39.113 people were injured in the US alone. To make matters worse, e-scooter-related hospitalizations increased 365% (from 313 to 1,374) during that period.
It is time to improve this sad situation. Another study of injuries related to the use of e-scooters showed that more than 80.2% of injuries were caused by falls. It is fair to assume that in most cases the driver is at fault. There will always be external resources (such as cars and other vehicles) that you can’t control, but optimizing what you can do can go a long way.
We reached out to over 2,000 e-scooter riders on Facebook to find out their favorite safety measures/rules while riding. We got a lot of interesting answers, so let's take a look at the best safety tips for electric scooters to avoid collisions and injuries.
1. Keep an eye on the road situation
If you're used to riding a bike, you'll know that it's not an uncommon habit to admire the scenery and observe everything around you - it applies to everything because we humans are naturally curious.What's more, since most people ride in urban areas, other road users are not yet used to electric scooters on the street, so it is all the more important to watch the traffic and think a few seconds in advance at any time. This may seem self-evident, but it is crucial to pay attention to the road and surrounding traffic. If you respect your speed, even if it looks relaxed and comfortable, you can avoid a lot of damage.
2. Put your hands on the handlebars
Oh, maybe I have a new message on my phone, better check it quickly and reply to…… Oh no! When riders are overconfident with their electric scooters, they may think they can easily browse their phone or do other things with one hand as long as they keep one hand on the gas pedal.
This is a big mistake. It’s something I’ve worked hard to learn on my own. I wanted to let my friends know by text message that I was on my way to his house. Instead of stopping, I slowed down and took out my phone. Two seconds later, I found myself lying on the ground with scratches on my right arm and leg and a shattered screen on my phone.
Riding an e-scooter with one arm is especially dangerous because of the small road contact point. You’re riding on much smaller wheels than a bike, which also means you have less clearance from the ground when you go around corners and are more visible in passing on bumps and bumps to the rider.
As we ride, we constantly make small adjustments with our hands to balance our balance. When we take one (or both) hands out of the equation, we only have one hand to adjust. Of course, if the scooter starts tilting in the opposite direction, it will be very difficult.
If you absolutely must use the phone, please do yourself and your elbow a favor: stop the scooter for a second and resume work when you’re ready.
3. Use a proper helmet
On the road, there are always things you can’t control. Driver negligence and human error are always present. Not all accidents are preventable, so how to prepare for them is crucial.
It could be the difference between life and death or life and death in a wheelchair. Of all safety equipment, wearing a proper helmet is the most important. Don’t believe me? We’ve produced an infographic on the dangers and nature of the following e-scooter accidents that will almost certainly change your mind.
4. Check your scooter regularly
Like any other motor vehicle, electric scooters need maintenance from time to time because riding can wear them down. Even though your scooter works out of the box, it still needs someone to take care of it to function properly.
Therefore, it is important to check and know your scooter regularly before riding.
Check before each ride
Personally, I check a list of candidates before each ride and I recommend you do the same:
Check for adequate tire pressure
Check whether the folding mechanism is firmly in place
Check that your brakes are working properly
Check once a week or twice a week
More in-depth examinations are strongly recommended weekly or biweekly, which may include:
Check bolts or screws for looseness
Check that your brake discs are bent
Making sure your scooter is always in the best setting is important for rider safety. When you get your scooter, be sure to read the instructions carefully and familiarize yourself with how it’s made. You don’t have to be a comprehensive mechanic to understand the basics, and to know that your e-scooter meets standards in terms of safety technology, will definitely give you some inspiration.
5. Get the right lights
Many electric scooters lack proper lightning. This is critical for visibility in low-light environments. If you go out at night, you don’t just want to be able to see the road ahead, you want others to see you.
Most of the headlights on electric scooters simply don’t have enough power to properly illuminate the path in front of you, so we strongly recommend that you purchase external lights with a higher lumen count and install them on the handlebars.
Tilt the headlights slightly downward to avoid blinding oncoming traffic and ensure everyone’s safety.
Taillights don’t have to be as bright as headlights because they don’t really need to light anything — they’re just there to clearly show where you are. Normally, the lights on your e-scooter are bright enough, but low down near the ground can cause problems.