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Kick scooters are no longer just a pastime for teenagers. Today, electric scooters offer convenience, efficiency, and savings to adults as they use them to commute to work and around the city. In fact, electric scooters have become a popular alternative mode of personal transportation in cities across the globe, especially through e-scooter ride-sharing services.
However, despite the electric scooter’s fun and convenience, the idea of safety is still a concern. Although most electric scooters are built for safety, there is still the risk of falling or injury. However, the risk is often caused by the rider not handling e-scooters properly.
Whether you’re riding a personal electric scooter or ride-sharing one, keep the following safety tips in mind to avoid accidents and have a safe and fun commute.
Tip # 1: Check your scooter beforehand
Always make it a point to check your electric scooter before taking it for a ride. Here’s a quick list of what to check before riding your electric scooter:
- Check if the brake, accelerator, and light are working.
- See if your tires are in good condition and have the right tire pressure.
- Make sure your stem latch is locked securely.
- Check if your charging ports, rubber caps, and other openings are closed.
- Look at your battery and charge them before leaving.
Ideally, inspect your electric scooter weekly, especially if you use it every day. Although electric scooters rarely require repair or maintenance, keep an eye on your unit’s condition to prolong its lifespan and keep it in top shape.
Tip # 2: Wear your helmet
How do you travel with an electric scooter? Unfortunately, most riders don’t wear a helmet or any safety gear when riding. In fact, only 4.8% of injured electric scooter riders wore helmets. Remember that it’s also mandatory for e-scooter riders to wear a helmet in Australia. If you’re not sure what helmet to use, here’s a quick guide on the type of helmet for electric scooters.
Aside from these, you may also wear other safety gears for added protection. Gloves and elbow and knee pads offer protection from scrapes in case you fall. Wearing reflectors also increases your visibility when riding at night. However, these are just additional safety gear you can wear. A helmet is the most vital riding gear that you should wear.
Tip # 3: Ride in the proper position
Riding electric scooters with the wrong posture makes it difficult to balance, affects your posture, and causes injury when you fall. Avoid all of these inconveniences by properly standing on your electric scooter. Here are some quick reminders:
- To start riding your electric scooter, place your weak leg on the deck and push yourself forward using your strong leg.
- Once you start moving, place your strong leg behind your weak leg to balance yourself and minimise the space you occupy.
- Put both of your hands on the handle. One hand is controlling the accelerator, and the other is resting on the brake. Never drive using one hand.
- . Never drive using one hand.
- Keep your back straight. For better safety and balance, lean forward when accelerating or going uphill, and lean back when slowing down or going downhill.
Practise riding in this position to always keep yourself safe.
Tip # 4: Follow traffic rules and e-scooter regulations
Be aware of your state’s e-scooter law. After all, not all electric scooters in Australia are free to travel in public. As of writing, New South Wales and South Australia ban electric scooters in public spaces. However, you can use city-approved ride-share scooters in the Adelaide CBD in SA. In these states, you can only use personal e-scooters within private property.
Moreover, the average maximum electric scooter speed in Australia is 24 kph (15 mph). However, you should still check with your current as some states enforce a different speed limit. For example, some areas in Queensland have a top speed limit of 10 kph only. Knowing your states’ e-scooter regulations will save you from injuries and penalties.
Tip # 5: Don’t travel on risky paths and rainy days
Although there are brands like Mearth that offer durable off-road electric scooters, it’s highly recommended to avoid riding electric scooters on risky paths or during bad weather. Don’t push your electric scooter’s physical limits, especially if it’s not designed for off-road travelling. Moreover, during harsh weather, your electric scooter may survive a storm but you will most likely get injured or inconvenienced as you are out in the open. As with other kinds of vehicles, avoid going outside or travelling during bad weather or risky conditions.
Tip # 6: Carry spare batteries
If your electric scooter features a switchable battery system, always bring a spare or multiple batteries just in case. This is helpful in case you forget to check your battery before leaving or didn’t have enough time to charge your electric scooter fully. Moreover, it allows you to make sudden trips before or after work. Electric scooter batteries usually don’t weigh much and can fit easily inside a backpack. Carrying extra batteries ensures that you can go anywhere and still have power for a trip back home.
Always safety first
No matter what kind of electric vehicle or micro-mobile transport becomes popular in the future, safety should always be a priority. When riding electric scooters, remember the tips mentioned above and start practising them to maximise the fun and efficiency of electric scooters.
If you’re not sure how to properly ride an electric scooter, here’s a quick electric scooter riding guide to help you out.
If you want to invest in a sturdy and safe electric scooter, applying for a loan can help you buy an expensive yet durable and long-lasting e-scooter that you can use safely for a long time.