Pedestrians and authorities alike will be watching closely to see how responsible we are.
It is therefore vital that you ride safely.
Don’t be the one to ruin everything for the electric scooter movement (not to mention, injure yourself)!
It shouldn’t need explaining why this is so important but even experienced riders have accidents and head injuries can have catastrophic results. It doesn’t matter if you ‘don’t plan on going that fast’, all it takes is a slip. For the more fashion-conscious riders, there are some incredibly cool helmet designs out there, so there’s no excuse!
Riding sensibly means observing traffic laws and your surroundings. Surroundings meaning pedestrians, other vehicles, potholes, rogue cats, etc. Don’t just look in your immediate vicinity – be aware of what hazards may be approaching. Do not run red lights and do not park your vehicle in a way that blocks pedestrian or vehicle access.
Riding sensibly also means considering your speed. Just because your vehicle can reach X mph, it doesn’t mean you need to all the time. Especially while you’re getting used to your scooter, err on the side of caution when it comes to speed.
Again, this might sound obvious but, especially for new riders, take the time to familiarise yourself with the breaks. That means gently squeeze both breaks, applying slightly more pressure on the front break and leaning back. How much pressure is ‘gentle’? Well, that’s what you need to find out. Practice in a quiet area to get used to your breaks and your scooter’s stopping speed. In fact…
…If you’re new to electric scooters, dedicate some time to getting used to your vehicle. Tempting though it may be, don’t head straight for the busy roads to show off your new purchase. Find a safe, quiet and legal space to build your confidence and riding ability before spreading your wings.
Your scooter is an extension of you. Learn its lines and edges. Are the handlebars at a height that is comfortable and gives you the best possible control of the vehicle? Will the battery life cover your journey. Have any screws loosened since your last trip? Do the tyres need more pressure or replacing? All of these things are integral to safely using your scooter and are especially important to check before and after each ride.
We’ve already covered a helmet as an absolute must. But there are other accessories vital to your safety when riding. Before you sigh at the thought of opening your wallet again, most of these are relatively inexpensive, especially considering their benefit. So, without further ado, you should consider purchasing an electric horn, rechargeable tail and front lights, and a U-lock with cable. These things are a small price to pay for your safety (and your scooter’s security)!
You may be tempted to use your scooter to get to and from the pub. Only if you’re drinking soft drinks! Driving your scooter under the influence is unsafe and illegal, so don’t risk it!
You’re part of an elite club of urban electric vehicle enthusiasts. Just being seen on your new ride will bring you all the kudos you need. What you don’t need to do is risk injury (not to mention embarrassment) to self or others by trying tricks while riding down the road. Rather than glances of admiration, all this will bring you is tuts and a damaged reputation for urban transport. Don’t be that person!
Scooters are not designed for two, so don’t ride tandem. That includes parents with children. Not only will this likely exceed the weight limit on the scooter, thereby risking damage to the vehicle (that will not be covered by any warranty), it will also slow breaking speed, reduce control, hinder concentration, increase the risk of falling, and of course, double the risk of injury.
So, there you have it! Ten tips for staying safe on your electric scooter. There are obviously many more steps you can take to achieve ‘responsible rider status’, so stay alert and always be ready to learn.