Dear reader and user (now or in the future) of an electric scooter. This article is not so informative as it is dictated by my inner conviction that safety is the most important thing on the road. And that, in my mind, not only swings your health and life, but also other people, road users or pedestrians. So, please take everything said here seriously, especially since electric scooter safety does not imply anything complicated or expensive. But if you don’t take simple precautions, you could lose your most valuable asset – your life.
So, despite some of the pathos of my words (although I’m totally serious about this), let’s look at the vital elements that keep riders safe during their urban commute: the basic gadgets and riding techniques that keep electric scooters safe and fun. Buckle up – or, rather, suit up – and we get to the essentials.
Personal protective equipment
The easiest thing for any rider to do is purchase equipment to protect their body. It’s easy. After all, it’s not about fashion at all. But I am thankful for modern society that dictates its own rules (in my youth, some protective gear was considered shameful, and how ridiculous it is now). So, you will need the following:
The cardinal rule of electric scooter safety starts at the head – helmets. These protective covers aren’t just accessories; they are the front line of defense against potential head injuries, a shield you shouldn’t ride without. You can use the simplest bicycle helmet or a motorcycle helmet (heavier but reliable) at your discretion. But you should not ride without a helmet.
Even if you use rental scooters, buy an individual helmet, and be calm. By the way, buying such a means of protection with CPSC (bicycle) or DOT (motorcycle) certification is better.
Hands bear the brunt of riding. Gloves protect your hands in case of a fall and provide a secure grip, improving control and maneuverability while riding an electric scooter. In addition, even if it’s cold outside, your fingers will stay warm and help you maneuver when needed.
Knee and elbow pads
Knee and elbow pads are your reliable allies when making the sharp turns typical of scooter riding. Protecting your joints from possible impacts provides additional protection and allows you to steer your scooter confidently. Don’t be afraid to be like a child learning to ride a tricycle. There is no room for shame when it comes to safety.
If you have to drive in the dark or during twilight (a special time for any driver with any vision level), buying high-visibility clothing is a good idea. It increases your visibility on the road, especially in low light conditions, allowing passengers and drivers to spot you from afar.
Additional safety gear
You should always remember that you are not an identical rider on the road or in the city. It is, therefore, important to be noticed by other drivers or riders. The following accessories are perfect for this purpose:
Lights and reflectors for visibility
Not all electric scooters have built-in lights. Using an LED strip around the deck will make you visible, but it won’t light up the road for you, and it may have bumps, branches, or rocks that are dangerous when riding a two-wheeler. Equip your scooter with front and rear lights so other road users can see where you’re going, whether you’re going towards them or one way, whether you’re braking or going at a certain speed. You can also attach a flashlight to your helmet.
Debris, wind, a stray bug, or even the rays of the setting sun can literally knock you off your feet when riding at speed, so protect your eyes with protective eyewear. Clear vision isn’t just a luxury; it’s a necessity for safe riding.
Adapt to the elements with weather-appropriate gear. Whether it’s drizzling rain or blazing sunshine, the right clothing increases comfort and, as a result, concentration on the road. Wheel guards also fall into this category if you have to travel on wet roads. They will also protect you from small stones bouncing off the wheels of your electric scooter.
Bells and horns
Communication is key. Equip your electric scooter with bells or horns to signal your presence and warn pedestrians and other road users. Remember that other vehicles are also driven by people who may be distracted. Sometimes, a second can save a life.
Riding safely: techniques and tips
Well, in conclusion, safe driving is as much about your skills as it is about the equipment. Remember the most important thing: it is not the vehicle that controls you, but you control it. Therefore, here are some electric scooter safety tips that you should always follow without taking a chance.
Overconfidence: Speed and complex maneuvers
Despite the undeniable thrill of speed, overconfidence can be a trap. Avoid excessive speeding and complicated maneuvers that could compromise your safety. Watch out for other road users.
Distractions: Mobile devices and headphone use
Don’t be tempted to use mobile devices and headphones while driving. It’s a long-standing secret that they are highly distracting, increasing the risk of an accident.
Never ride tandem
Electric scooters are designed to be ridden solo. Riding tandem exceeds the scooter’s weight limit and poses a significant safety risk. If you are still a “persistent offender” or have no other option, ensure your passenger also has enough protection on them.
Neglecting road signs and signals
Road signs and signals are your guiding lights. Neglecting them jeopardizes your safety. Be alert and obey the rules of the road to travel safely on city streets. Do not break the law, and love yourself.