How to Stay Safe on Electric Scooters

How to Stay Safe on Electric Scooters

Electric scooters are it! Before 1985, all we had were scooters that were very difficult to use. With a small platform, much of the work in riding these push scooters had to be done by the rider’s feet. What was supposed to be a pleasant ride turned into a one-foot-speedy treadmill! A lot of work was put into this initial design, and a new type of scooter was invented: the electronic scooters.

To say they only ease the scooting stress is to downplay how excellent electric scooters are. But the big question is ‘How does one stay safe on electric scooters?’ Many people believe that it is impossible to stay safe on the streets of Canada with an electric scooter. However, it is possible. We will teach you how to stay safe on an electric scooter.

Continue reading to find out the tips and steps to stay safe on electric scooters.

Related article: Using an E-bike in Canada: Safety Tips and Precautions

 

Is an electric scooter dangerous to ride?

This is perhaps the most asked question about electric scooters. To answer it simply, they are as dangerous as knives used in kitchens. When used correctly, following safety rules and regulations, e-scooters (as they are popularly called) are not safety threats.

 

Can a child ride an electric scooter?

Yes. A child can ride an electric scooter. However, they should always be supervised when doing so. There are many electric scooters for kids, and if they are used safely in the right places, there is no cause to be alarmed.

So, with that out of the way, let’s dive right in. How do we safely use scooters? For the most part, the design of e-scooters conforms to standards and environmental requirements. The problem lies mostly with how we use them. 

There are three sections to help you out here: maintenance, road and riding tips, and general guidelines on how to use e-scooters. We will discuss all of these sections in equal detail. 

Related article: E-bikes for Kids in Toronto

 

Road and Riding Tips

The three golden rules to stay safe on electric scooter are;

  • Observe Everything
  • Be careful when using brakes
  • Ride Defensively

Observe Everything

Like the other two road safety tips, observing everything while on the road is not only applicable to scooters but all means of transportation. In observing everything, you should;

Be watchful of grates, paddles, shattered glass and rocks

The wheels on e-scooters are so small that they can get stuck in tiny spaces. Unlike mopeds and bicycles, you cannot easily maneuver around grates, rocks, and sewers on e-scooters. Always keep an eye on the road surface when riding an e-scooter.

Be wary of sidewalks and busy roads

When used on busy sidewalks and roads, you are going to have to duck way too often around pedestrians. And if the road’s surface is damp, tires lose traction quickly. Avoid busy and damp roads, and sidewalks during thunderstorms. It is safer if you walk. 

Most cities have designated lanes, so use them instead of roads. Scooters fall just short on the speed scale when compared to other means of transportation.

Be wary of the movement of other people’s movements

You can be a pro at ducking, and still, fall bump into people. Except on bike lanes, other people will (knowingly or not) get into your way. While looking ahead, make glances to the left and right to avoid bumping into people.

Be careful when using brakes and turning

Trying out a new e-scooter can be fun, and the thought of doing wild things and breaking speed limits is exciting. But when we have to slow down, as a reflex action, riders apply brakes too rapidly. This has been the cause of so many accidents.

Instead, you should be gentle but sturdy with your brakes. Hitting it and expecting your e-scooters to stop only happens in movies, even for cars. The recommended practice is to squeeze both breaks a little and watch the scooter reduce its speed slowly.

You never know what danger lies in the corner. Even if you do, a sharp turn is definitely not a good idea. When making a turn, maintain a constant speed all the way. You can accelerate when you pass corners.

Ride Defensively

This means using scooters in a way that you anticipate accidents. It’s a hard practise because you’ll have to let go of some of the thrilling things, just to be safe. Riding defensively entails;

  • Avoiding tricks: Unlike push scooters, e-scooters are powered by motors. Therefore, tricks and stunts are inappropriate for them. Your scooter can get damaged, and you can get badly injured.
  • Riding without passengers: Almost every scooter is meant for one person, so do not get on the wild bull by going on it with another person. E-scooters have a certain weight capacity, and you will not want to test their limits.
  • Avoiding tailgating: Give enough space between the vehicle or bicycle ahead of you. You can get a nasty injury if you hit the person ahead, or if they apply their brakes.

In a nutshell, be a proactive rider that is mentally present and reactive to the situation around them. You should not rely on other people for your safety.

Related article: Tips for Electric Bike Beginner

 

Maintenance Tips

An in-shape electric scooter can make all the difference between a fatal accident and a near-miss. Like other things, scooters can malfunction when not taken proper care of. Here are a couple of things you can do to extend and maintain the product life of your e-scooter.

Check the tires

Before you go for a ride, always assess the conditions of the tires first. Check their appearance and treads to make sure that they are fit for use.

For the tire pressure, ensure that they are always between the range set by the manufacturer. If the pressure is lower, then there’s a high chance that you’ll damage a rim. On the other hand, a pressure higher than the recommended value can cause a tire to burst.

Also, be sure to fix any wear out or puncture on your scooter’s tires immediately you spot them.

Use the battery just as the manufacturers instruct you to

Apart from the wheels and engines on electric scooters, other essential parts of electric are batteries. The number on an electric scooter’s battery should be 25 volts. If you get anything less, then it’s probably time to have them changed. Never let your scooter’s battery run out. 

Most batteries, when fully charged, can last through a 20-mile journey. If you intend to ride for longer then, ensure you have charging spots on the route. Therefore, always keep your eyes on the mileage throughout every trip.

Pay attention to the brakes

Mastering the art of stopping is crucial for safe rides. But the whole process of slowing down becomes such a massive task if the brakes are not working properly. Make sure you fine-tune your scooter’s brakes regularly.

Check the grips

Grips on e-scooters get worn out quickly. To change the ones on your scooter, remove them carefully. Then, prepare the surface using deodorant, hairspray, or an eco-cleaner just before you place the new one.

Watch the speed controller

This is one of the easiest things to forget when carrying out maintenance checks on electric scooters. Speed controllers are the main parts that connect every other component. They must be in proper working conditions before you go on a ride with your scooter. 

Correctly set up the handlebars

Just like how you adjust the seats of your car immediately you get into it, so also should you set up the handlebars of your scooter. It should be reachable so that you can maneuver easily.

Related article: Gearing up for a trail ride: Must-have accessories for E-bikes in Canada

 

General Guidelines

There are a few general guidelines that you should follow if you want to learn how to stay safe on your electric scooter. They include

Wear a helmet and other protective equipment, and keep them on

This is a no brainer. It is no show of skill or class to ride a scooter without a helmet or knee pad. If you fall off without them on, you will most likely get injuries.

Your helmet should fit properly and provide the necessary cushioning in case you fall. Elbow straps, knee pads, and mouth guards are also crucial protective equipment to wear. We recommend you use gloves to improve your grip as well. 

Another advantage of using helmets is to protect you from UV radiation and sunlight. When it comes down to your safety when using an electric scooter, there is no way you can be over-prepared.

Read your manual

Every electrical equipment comes with one, and this type of scooter is not exempted. Despite their easy-to-understand mechanism and straightforward functions, never jump to use your electric scooter without reading it first. The manual that comes with them is perhaps the only source of understanding the functions of that particular electric scooter. More importantly, reading the manual keeps you safe.

Practice a lot

Practice, they say, makes perfect. With scooters, it makes safe scooting as well. So, give yourself a lot of time to understand how your scooter works. A couple of places you can use to practice are your backyard, quiet and less-busy streets, and parking lots. 

The main reason for practicing this much is that it will help you to get acquainted with your scooter. Balancing and maneuvering are not so easy to learn, so do yourself a favour and practice. But don’t be alarmed on how you can figure everything out by yourself. A hand from an experienced person or a partner can get you up to speed. 

Always keep your hands on the handlebars

Stunts are not meant to be done on electric scooters, and neither is a no-hands move. As tempting as it is, don’t ride with only one hand either. You can only have total control to maneuver and turn with both hands.  

We recommend you get a backpack and keep everything there, so you don’t get tempted to hold on to something throughout the ride.

Don’t use headphones or phone

In cars, you can dare to use your headphones and phones and get lucky a couple of times. The car’s body can absorb most of the impact if an accident happens. However, on an electric scooter, there is nothing to take up most of the impact. This is why you should never use headphones when riding.

They put you at risk and take your attention from your environment. And if there’s traffic, you will not be able to hear anything with your headphones on. So, ditch them until you get to your destination.

Get a reflector

Riding at night is not the safest thing to do. However, if you have to, consider getting a reflector. They allow other road users to see you, and so reduce the probability of running you over. You can easily get them from electric scooter stores around you or online.

Use your horn

Most riders think that the horn is a fancy addition to the already cool design of electric scooters. Shouting through your way is not going to help you, and neither is swaying from side to side. If you don’t have one, we recommend you install an aftermarket horn. Know where your horn or bell is before you go out with your scooter. You will not have the time to search for it during emergencies.

Keep your cool

Don’t let the excitement of riding a scooter get the better of you. When using one, it is not a great idea to maneuver through everything. Maintain a straight line throughout the journey.

Keeping you cool also entails never riding under the influence. Alcohol plays a role in most of the electric scooting injuries, so it’s best to stay off before using your scooter. If you must take a glass or two, then consider using an alternative transportation means.

Follow traffic laws

The fact that you are on an electric scooter doesn’t exempt you from the traffic rules that other vehicles follow. In fact, you should follow them to the latter more than any other road user. This includes yielding to pedestrians, stopping at traffic lights and stop signs and all other traffic regulations. 

Go slowly

Don’t yield to the temptation of revving your throttle, to see how fast your scooter can go. It is always a bad idea. If you are not yet a pro, don’t even think about it. Go slowly and try to maintain a constant speed.

Related article: A Comprehensive Guide to Electric Bike Maintenance

 

In conclusion

Scooting is not as complicated as people think. It’s an exciting, fulfilling, and fun experience. Within a couple of practice hours, you should be able to get the hang of turning and maneuvering in no time. However, severe injuries can come from wrongly using a scooter, so always take precautions seriously. 

If you follow the instructions we have laid down for you in this post, then there is nothing to worry about when scooting. Contact us to help you choose the best electric scooter for you

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