Electric Scooters have become popular in the past few years. However, the concept and innovation have been around since 1895! They are compact yet so fun to ride that you don’t really feel riding on two small wheels (applies even if your scooter has three). They are manufactured for both adults and children, with various features depending on the cost. Soon, they will be a trend along with hoverboards!
The precautions for an electric scooter are the same as of any two-wheeler vehicles, but the structure of the scooter and its compact size change things a little. So, let us look at the safety precautions that you must take before going on your adventurous ride!
1. Prioritize wearing a helmet
Even though the size of your scooter is compact, it can rev up pretty quickly and has a decent speed. This is not a bike your are riding, which is more sturdy and stable because of its heavy mass and stronger build.
Once you are thrown off balance, you can inflict some serious injuries to yourself. Honestly, electric scooters are not as dangerous as bikes, but when you ride a two-wheeler, there is nothing protecting you from accidents. So, why take chances in the first place?
You should at least wear a helmet as a protective gear, it wouldn’t hurt if you add knee pads and elbow guards.
Well, helmets have their own variety to begin with. Let’s consider four types:
These helmets provides the best safety and are suitable for any ride and is the most common type.
These helmets are preferred for scooters, cafe racers and cruisers. There is no chin protection, which makes it slightly less preferable than full-face in terms of safety. But if you want to feel the air on your skin, then you are good to go.
These helmets are also known as flip-up helmets, in which the chin bar along with visor can be flipped up thanks to its hinge design. Again, it is preferred by cafe racers, cruisers and scooters for the feel of air on the face. This is the second best type of helmet in terms of safety, and it looks stylish as well!
This type is preferred for electric scooters, bicycles and hoverboards. They provide the least type of protection but they are popular among teens.
2. Know your tracks
First, let’s consider the structure of your electric scooter. It is a compact machine with two small wheels, a ramp to stand on and a handlebar shooting upwards from the front. Any two-wheeler will slip on a wet track or a track full of rubble and dust. Obviously, an electric scooter is no different because of its small wheels, which will have a hard time to maintain its grip on a wet track. Not to mention, its low ground clearance is not meant for bumpy tracks.
You don’t want to slip or damage your ride; therefore, ride on dry, rubble free and fairly plain tracks.
3. Avoid riding during a storm or rain
Well, electric scooters, even the expensive ones, are not designed to ride during rain or storms. It has electric parts that can easily short-circuit.
Let’s take reduced visibility into account, which makes riding during unfavorable weather conditions very dangerous, let alone inconvenient. The scooter’s structure will give you an added disadvantage.
So, riding in favorable weather is your best bet!
4. Practice invisible riding
“Eh, Invisible? what the heck?”
Listen, there are mostly three types of vehicles large vehicles like trucks and buses, small ones like cars and then there are two-wheelers.
“Why a separate category though? they could have easily fit in the small category.”
Absolutely right! but if you go from the most visible to the least, then you would divide the vehicles into three types, like we have done. Two-wheelers are the least visible type of all, especially from a distance. This is one of the major causes of accidents.
Invisible riding simply means that you assume you are invisible to others on roads and take extra precautions. Like braking at the right moment, giving hand signals when turning, wearing high contrast clothes to increase your visibility, etc. This increases the percentage of your safety by a decent margin.
Also, when riding in the city, you are better off maintaining the ideal speed of 20 mph, as the city roads are comparatively more unpredictable than usual roads.
Some cities and towns have dedicated lanes for two-wheelers, and they are safer alternatives of your usual routes. Sure, you still need to take precautions there as well, as there are still people riding along with you.
5. Maintain your ride
Every machine which has moving parts is prone to wear and tear. So, it wouldn’t hurt if you took care of your scooter once in a week or so. Let’s look at the different parts of your ride and how to take care of them:
Tires: make sure they are properly inflated, which is essential for proper braking. If the tires have worn out, change them as soon as possible.
Batteries: when they die, do not settle for cheaper alternatives, buy a quality battery to prevent fire breakout.
Frame: Ensure that all screws are properly tightened and apply lubricant where necessary. You should check the users’ manual for instructions.
Brakes: Ensure that the brakes are working effectively. If they don’t, it would be wise to see a mechanic to check the problem or replace the brakes.
Chain/belts: make sure that they are properly tightened, which means not too loose and not too tight. The tightness of the chain or belt can be adjusted with a wrench.
Apart from maintenance, perform a check of your electric scooter’s tires, frame and brakes every time before you set off for your adventure!
6. Install a rear-view mirror
Electric scooters do not have a pre-installed rear-view mirror. They certainly take away the charm of your scooter a little, but they add to your safety. This can be a profitable trade depending on your preference.
However, we recommend that you install a rear-view mirror if you can.
7. Be mindful of the throttle
Electric scooter pick up quickly, which can easily lead to an accident, if you are not aware. You need to understand how much throttle you need, to reach and maintain a certain speed limit. Of course, this is simple and everyone knows it, but people still grow reckless and meet their demise.
Make sure you don’t do the same!
Also, being mindful of your surroundings increases the safety percentage multifold, and it makes the ride more fun!
8. Avoid using earphones
Any distraction is dangerous while commuting in any vehicle. It has become a trend using headphones or earphones, while riding a bike or an electric scooter.
Yes, you will not probably injure yourself immediately, but again, why take the risk when you don’t have to?
A word before you go
If you are a beginner, then this might be the reason you are reading this blog. Well, anything you learn if difficult at first but eventually, you get used to it and enjoy it. So, take a deep breath and relax and don’t overthink about falling or possibility of an accident. Just learn the important bits and you are good to go.
Eventually, when you get used to it, you will see that riding has become your second nature. At that time, you don’t have to think about the safety precautions as they will have become a part of you!
Have a safe ride!