It all comes down to safety, and there is no difference with electric scooters. Riding an electric scooter can be considered dangerous as you are not protected by anything but your helmet. I will guide you through some tips in order to make riding an electric scooter safer and avoid any dangerous situations.
Is riding an electric scooter considered dangerous?
If you take the necessary safety precautions, riding an electric scooter is not considered to be dangerous by conventional means. Following my tips below, you can ride safely and reach your destination without any incident.
Is riding an electric scooter considered dangerous for kids?
Kids should not be allowed to ride an electric scooter unsupervised. There are special electric scooters for kids which can be used in safe places without any obstacles or dangerous objects.
Always supervise your child while riding an electric scooter and get some protective gear for them to wear. Extra pads and a good helmet will do.
Is riding an electric scooter considered dangerous for a pregnant woman?
You need to consult with your doctor on this one. He or she can tell you exactly if you can ride an electric scooter while pregnant or not. The answer depends from individual to individual as no woman has the same health conditions and pregnancy.
I am not a doctor, but I would vote against riding an electric scooter if you are pregnant. You have the risk of falling off, getting hit by a car that didn’t notice you, or other dangerous situation that can put both you and your baby in danger.
If your doctor advises that you can ride it while pregnant, take the following 3 precautions:
- Ride on roads with very little traffic
- Wear a protective helmet, and also knee and elbow protection
- Wear a reflective vest in order to make yourself visible on the road
- Ride slow and brake in time if any obstacles ahead.
Can I ride an electric scooter with my child?
While there are some devices available (like this one) that are supposed to solve this problem, I don’t recommend it. Electric scooters are made for one person only and improvisation is usually not a good idea.
If you really want to have a good time together with your child, consider buying a bicycle with one extra seat in the back or a small trailer for your bike. It’s much safer.
Tips to ride an electric scooter safely
1. Wear protective equipment like a helmet
The best tip for safety is to protect yourself. Use protective gear all the time. The minimum equipment you should have is a helmet. You can even use your bike helmet if you have one.
Helmets, for example, have other advantages that are not strictly related to safety such as:
- sun protection – the helmet blocks UV radiations from sunlight, and, if your helmet has a tip or visor, your eyes will be kept clear of sunlight
- keeps you warm in the winter – very useful in winter as the real feel on an electric scooter is much lower
Other protective gear you may want to get is knee and elbow protection. You can find this equipment on Amazon.
2. Ride slow
One of the most important tips is to ride slowly in order to avoid any danger ahead. Always keep a low speed when you are in a crowded area, near cars, or pedestrians. A speed of 12 miles per hour (or 20km per hour) is considered fine for city riding.
Accelerating too fast from a full stop is also a cause for many electric scooter accidents. Electric motors are powerful, so they deliver a lot of torque. If you don’t hold your hands tightly on the handles, you can slip when accelerating. Most of these accidents happen at low speeds, so they are not very dangerous if you wear a helmet. However, they can become dangerous if you fall in the middle of an intersection.
If you have some straight lines t drive one without any obstacles, you can go ahead and drive faster.
3. Brake in time
If you have an upcoming obstacle, brake in time, not last minute, just to be sure. This tip is valuable on a rainy day as your brakes are not so efficient on wet ground.
Electric scooters can have multiple braking systems. The most common ones are electromagnetic and disc brakes. The disc brake is usually more efficient than the electromagnetic one, but it can’t recover the braking energy in order to charge your scooter.
Electromagnetic brakes recover some of the potential energy otherwise lost by braking. These electric scooters have more range in consequence.
If you have one, learn to use your emergency brake from your rear wheel. It’s far more powerful than the electromagnetic one. Go for a few test runs in order to accommodate yourself with it. Be careful when doing this as the emergency brake is quite aggressive.
4. Take turns slowly
You never know what’s around the corner. And, even if you do, taking sharp turns on an electric scooter is not a good idea. You may lose your balance easily and fall. Maintain a slow speed when taking turns and avoid braking and accelerating in the middle of the turn because you may lose control.
Brake way ahead of a turn and accelerate once you are in a straight line again.
5. Don’t ride on busy roads
If you can, avoid busy roads and rush hours. The more cars, the more dangerous situations you can be put in. Choose a road less crowded for your ride.
Make sure you ride on the proper side of the road and follow the traffic rules and lights.
6. Keep your electric scooter in shape
Maintenance is an important aspect of electric scooters but usually skipped over. Change the used parts of your scooter if needed and follow the recommendations in the user manual. The minimum checks you should do once a month are:
- Verify screws in order to be properly tightened
- Lubricate the parts specified in the user manual
- Check tire pressure if you have air-wheels
- Tire pressure is very important for safety. The brake is much more efficient when tires are properly inflated and a few milliseconds even can count when you need to avoid a collision. Another benefit is that it improves your scooter’s range. Keep your tires topped off in order to be able to break in time.
- Make sure you lock the scooter in the correct position after unfolding
Avoid improvisations on your electric scooter especially on the battery side. Most of the fires on electric vehicles come from home-assembled lithium battery packs. It’s much cheaper to assembly batteries at home than buy them, but the consequences can be severe.
If you want to get more range, you can always get a bigger battery, but always try to use your original battery or follow some simple tips to improve your range.
7. Avoid bad weather
I’ve written two articles answering some questions about bad weather. Feel free to check them here:
My answer from a safety standpoint is to avoid bad weather if you can. Try to avoid riding in the rain, especially if it’s not a light storm. Riding in snow is considered dangerous, and I strongly advise against it.
Some weather conditions like freezing rain, torrential rain, or deep snow can damage your electric scooter.
If you really must use your scooter in bad weather, my tips are to maintain a very slow speed, take turns very slowly, and brake in time.
8. Defensive riding
To ride defensively means to pay close attention to the traffic and anticipate other riders, drivers, or pedestrian movements.
9. Use lights when night riding
10. Use your horn
The horn is usually a small button under the display panel. Make sure you know it’s position before riding your electric scooter. In case of an emergency, you won’t have time to search for it.
11. Maintain a correct position while riding
12. One person only
Electric scooters are designed for one person only. Don’t try to bypass the manufacturer’s advice and try to ride with one more person. It is dangerous for both you and the passenger. The risk of injury is very high.
13. Get a mirror
One thing that some electric scooters don’t come with is a mirror. A mirror can be extremely useful because turning your head to look behind can be dangerous on an electric scooter. It’s easy to lose your balance or ignore an obstacle in front of you just because you looked back for a couple of seconds.
As you can see, there are some safety measures you need to take before jumping on an electric scooter. Riding an electric scooter is not considered dangerous by conventional means, and, if you follow my tips, you will reach your destination without incidents.