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Riding an electric scooter is easy because it’s intuitive. However, not many people know how to ride electric scooters properly. This quick electric scooter guide lists down common mistakes when riding an electric scooter. Most of these are rookie mistakes, but long-time riders should also review the list as a refresher. It also includes electric scooter riding tips to help you correct the mistakes that you might be making.
Not wearing protective gear
Unfortunately, some beginners and long-time riders make this mistake. Whether you are riding a shared electric scooter or your own unit, riders should never ride an e-scooter without proper safety gear. Even if you only wear a helmet, it would already give good protection to the rider in case of any accidents on the road. Make sure to know the right type of electric scooter helmet for you.
Besides wearing a helmet, riders can add more protection to themselves by wearing gloves or wrist guards, knee and elbow pads, and close-toed shoes. Wearing a reflective vest or electric scooter accessories at night is also recommended, so pedestrians and vehicles can see you when riding at night.
Some beginner riders get excited to ride an e-scooter that they jump into an electric scooter and accelerate immediately. The excitement is understandable, but riders should never do things in a hurry.
If you are a beginner, remember to ride slow and steady in the beginning to get a feel on how to handle your electric scooter. While riding slowly, make sure to test brakes and accelerator and other controls on your e-scooter. If you want to ride at high speeds, practise in an empty parking lot or space first before riding in public.
Having the wrong foot position
This is one of the most common mistakes when riding electric scooters for beginners. Most beginners place their feet side by side on the deck. Unfortunately, riding in this foot position can make it difficult for riders to balance on the e-scooter. Moreover, it can be quite uncomfortable, especially if the deck is not wide enough.
Correct this by placing one foot in front and the other at the back. Make sure that your front foot is straight and facing forward. This allows you to face forward and have the best view of the road. Meanwhile, the back foot can rest on the foot on the foot support that most e-scooter have or place it at an angle, depending on the size of the deck.
Distributing weight incorrectly
One of the electric scooter tips and tricks to riding an e-scooter well is knowing how to distribute your weight effectively. Doing this at critical times will make it easy and safe for you to maneuver your electric scooter.
When you accelerate, remember to shift your weight to your front foot and lean your body forward to counteract the force of acceleration. When riding at a constant speed, spread your body weight evenly on both feet. Meanwhile, when braking, shift your weight on your back foot.
The harder you press the brake, the more you need to lean back. If needed, extend your arms to lean back more and avoid going over the handlebars. Braking and leaning back can save you when in a pinch, so make sure your body remembers these actions.
Controlling turns poorly
Another common mistake when riding an electric scooter is making poor turns. Whether you are riding curves or turning left or right, the correct way to turn is to lean the electric scooter in that direction. This is important to learn so that you can control your electric scooter properly when riding at high speeds.
Set up the turn by turning the handlebars slightly to the opposite of your turn. So, if you need to go to the left, you need to turn slightly to the right first. This is called counter-steering. Then, lean your body in the direction you want to go. While turning, make sure to tilt your body weight inside of the turn to prevent yourself from overturning. Remember these electric scooter tricks to keep yourself safe on the road.
Riding with one hand
This is one of the most common mistakes when riding an electric scooter. Some seasoned riders even forget not to do this. Riding with one hand on the handlebar is simply dangerous. Anything can happen on the streets, so your hands should always be ready to avoid sudden obstacles on the road.
If you need to hold on to a bag or a cup of coffee, you will need to put them down. Invest in adding a hook or basket on your electric scooter to help you carry your items. Just make sure that the total load is still within your electric scooter’s capacity.
Wearing headphones while riding
Electric scooters are a joy to ride, and it's understandable that some people want to maximise the enjoyment by listening to music. However, no matter how good that seems, never actually do it.
When riding electric scooters, you need to focus on the road and be mindful of your surroundings. Listening to music will only distract you and prevent you from hearing other vehicles or pedestrians coming from your back or side. Ultimately, it will prevent you from having any accidents.
Ride properly to keep yourself safe
Electric scooters are generally safe, but most accidents and injuries come from the lack of knowledge in riding them properly. Keeping the following tips in mind will not only help you ride comfortably but also safely. Protect yourself and others by practising how to ride electric scooters properly and following electric scooter laws.
For more electric scooter tips and tricks, check out Mearth’s blog page.