Are Electric Scooters Safe?
E-scooters are an environmentally-friendly alternative for the commute to work, and they are becoming a massive part of people’s day-to-day. But, with the UK Government yet to legalise their use on public roads and pavements, it begs the question are electric scooters safe?
The short answer, yes!
When electric scooters are built correctly with specific safety features, are well maintained and ridden with care, they can be just as safe as electric bikes. With any mode of transport, if you treat the scooter with respect and ride one sensibly, there is nothing to stop them from being safe.
Buying a Safe E-Scooter
What to look out for when purchasing an electric scooter?
The best place to source your e-scooter is from a recognised retailer. In doing so, this will help you avoid shoddy scooters and fake brands.
By using a leading retailer, you will get to choose from leading manufacturers and brands, with the comfort that you are getting a realistic but reasonable price for what you are purchasing. With electric scooters, if the price looks too good to be true, it is.
When you are selecting an electric scooter, there are some key features to spot.
Start with the brakes. There are three common types of brakes with electric scooters: electric, disc/drum, or foot brakes. They all vary from each other and come with their unique pros and cons.
Electric brakes are the easiest to use but, compared to the others, they don’t necessarily provide the best level of stopping power. Whereas, disc or drum brakes are the most effective but will consequently need replacing more frequently. A foot brake works by the rider pressing down on the back mudguard while riding, this method of braking can take some getting using to and may influence your confidence on your electric scooter. Think about what you’ll be using your scooter for and way up which type of brake is most suitable for your needs.
Next up is your scooter’s lights. Lights are essential for safe riding, and many electric scooters have this feature built-in. However, if your e-scooter only comes with reflectors, it is worth investing in a good quality set of lights to increase your safety.
It is also highly recommended that you wear a helmet, despite it not being a legal requirement. If you do end up losing your balance and falling off, at least your head will be protected.
Your First Outing
Whether you’re looking to buy your first e-scooter or up-date your old model, it is best to practice and get used to your electric scooter on a nice flat surface. Get used to unfolding and folding your scooter, powering it up and kicking off. There’s no rush, similar to when you got on a bike for the first time; an electric scooter will take a bit of getting used to and adjusting.
Give yourself some time to get your balance, adjusting to the steering and, don’t forget to try out the brakes! If you do feel you’re losing your balance and about to fall off, simply jump your feet off the board.
Focus on the way ahead, by keeping your knees slightly bent your body will help to cushion the jolts of an uneven surface. Think ahead and plan out your route based on the goings-on in front of you. Be vigilant to those around you and avoid the urge to pop your headphones in. You don’t want any distractions.
It is worth bearing in mind that not all brands of the electric scooter are entirely waterproof, it is worth looking into a scooter’s Ingress Protection (IP) rating to assess how much water it can withstand.
For more information about the IP rating of our bikes, get in touch with our experts today.
It is also worth noting that not all warranties are valid if you ride your e-scooter in wet conditions, so before jumping on board, make sure you give your scooter’s warranty a once over.
To stay safe riding in wet conditions, the best thing to do is to avoid any puddles. Electric scooters only have a low ground clearance, which means you are likely to fall off if you hit a pothole. With excess surface water, these potholes will be obscured and difficult to spot. Remove the worry altogether by riding carefully around them.
Similarly, make sure you are visible. Switch on your scooters lights and pop on some high-visibility clothing to make sure no one can miss you.
It is one thing purchasing an electric scooter with all the best safety features; but, the next step is to ensure that each component can function without hindrance.
General wear and tear may be affecting the proficiency of your e-scooter and compromising the safety features you have installed. Before each ride, you must test your brakes and tire pressure. Also, look for any loose bolts or stones/thorns within your tire tread. And, it is also good practice to wipe your lights every so often to ensure any dust or dirt does not obscure them.
If you are ever unsure about the workings of your brakes, the quality of your tire tread, or the sound of the electric motor, the best thing to do is to play it safe and get your e-scooter booked in for an inspection with an expert technician.
Stick to the Rules
At the moment, the laws and legislation in place to police the use of electric scooters are different depending on the country and city. Part of the issue currently is that e-scooters are tricky to incorporate into existing traffic laws. So, in some places that can be ridden on roads and cycle lanes, while in others they must stick to private land.
In the UK, the Government has recently begun a 12-month trial period within specific areas. This scheme is part of a £2 billion plan to invest in greener travel, and the use of electric scooters is currently under review.
E-scooters are apart of a far bigger movement called ‘micromobility’ which promotes battery-powered, utility-based transportation solutions. As electric scooters are eco-friendly, producing zero emissions and only relying on a small amount of electricity to charge, they are a fun and economical way for Governments’ to hit their green targets.
The rules, therefore, are likely to change. But, for the time being, they are in place to keep scooter riders, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users safe.
With any mode of transport, there will always be an element of risk; however, when used sensibly, an electric scooter is a safe and fun way of getting from A to B. To check out our range of top-quality e-scooters, visit our website or for more information, get in touch with us today.