Electric scooters have exploded onto our streets in the last five years. It seems like everyone is riding them, be it kids, adults and even the elderly! But are these electric scooters safe?
Well, safety is always a matter of multiple factors. You need to be aware of the electric scooter safety rules before riding an electric scooter. Without knowing the rules, riding an electric scooter can be dangerous for you and others.
First and foremost, you need to be cautious while purchasing an electric scooter. You should always buy a scooter from a reputable retailer who will give you a warranty and repair the components when necessary.
Some people consider electric scooters as joy rides and don’t wear any protective accessories during riding. They don’t obey the law. Consequently, the number of accidents per 100,000 riders increased by 222% from 2014 to 2018. This is why wearing safety accessories is so important
So, let’s talk about electric scooter safety in detail so that at the end of the article, you will be aware of various safety rules and be able to follow them when you take your electric scooter for a ride.
Electric Scooters And Kid’s Safety
Kids should first learn how to ride a kick scooter. Once they become masters of a kick scooter, parents should think about purchasing an electric scooter for their kids. Different electric scooters are available on the market tailored for different age groups.
You should always buy scooters according to the manufacturer’s recommended age limit and your assessment of your child’s maturity. We are all excited by our kids’ abilities and want to encourage them to do better.
So many of us (myself included) want to see them excel and develop their skills. But it’s important not to give them too much to handle, so you have to pay attention to your kid’s maturity rather than their age.
As a parent, you need to tell your kids about the essential things that will protect them while riding. You should also make them aware of the electric scooter safety rules so that they grow up to be responsible drivers.
Nowadays, teenagers can easily get access to an electric scooter without the consent of their parents. But if you are not an experienced rider, please don’t ride an electric scooter on the road. It may put you and others in danger.
Here are some safety tips for kids:
- Your kids should first practice riding an electric scooter in an empty parking lot. Once they master an electric scooter in that environment, you can allow them to ride on the streets.
- Kids should always wear a helmet, elbow pad, and kneepad at the time of riding. That will prevent them from any unexpected injuries. Again, they should wear long pants, a shirt, gloves, and appropriate shoes. As a parent, you should not allow your kids to ride an electric scooter in sandals or barefoot.
- Your kid should always ride solo. Doubling up on an electric scooter that isn’t designed for two riders is dangerous.
- Kids should not use earbuds or mobile phones during riding, as it may distract them from the road.
- Kids should ride on bike paths and bike lanes but should not drive on sidewalks or beaches.
- Your kids should be aware of all the rules and regulations of the electric scooter in your locality.
ASTM Safety Standard for Electric Scooters
The American Society for Testing and Materials has set out some speed limit standards for children of various age groups:
- Kids whose age is between 8 – 12 should limit their speed to 10 mph.
- Kids whose age is above 13 can ride at a speed greater than 10 mph.
Some Age-Appropriate Scooters
|Age Band||Recommended Scooters|
|3-6||Kidzone Ride On Motorcycle|
|6-10||GOTRAX GKS Electric Scooter|
Safety Regulations for Rented Electric Scooters
Electric scooters are lightweight, portable, and environmentally friendly. So, many people are opting to buy electric scooters. But some people cannot afford an electric scooter.
There are many rental companies like Bird and Lime that provide electric scooters for rent. You just need to download the app and locate an electric scooter and unlock it. You can park them anywhere you like.
With this method, you can rent an electric scooter within a few minutes. However, this poses its own danger, as inexperienced riders may be using these motorized scooters on the street, which can cause deadly accidents.
Researchers stated that from 2014 to 2018, 3,300 people were admitted to the hospital because of an electric scooter accident. The number has risen to 39,000 because of the increase in electric scooters zipping around cities.
Most of the injured scooterists were not wearing a helmet while riding, so most of them sustained head injuries.
Here are some safety rules which you need to follow whether you rent a scooter or you have your own electric scooter:
- Safety gear protects you from unexpected accidents. You should wear a helmet while riding because it protects your head and face from unforeseen accidents. You should wear elbow pads and knee pads because they will protect your knees and elbow from injuries in the event of a fall.
- You should always ride on bike paths and bike lanes and should not ride on sidewalks. Riding on sidewalks is not only illegal but may result in a collision with pedestrians and can cause deadly injuries.
- You should obey all the rules and regulations of your locality related to electric scooters.
- Ride on the streets only if you are experienced at riding an electric scooter.
- Ride slowly and be alert at all times while riding.
- Use the lights on your electric scooter. It will improve your visibility at night.
- Try to keep both your hands on the handlebars at the time of riding.
- Try to check all the components of your electric scooter from time to time.
Safety With Electric Scooters
Some influential safety organizations have doubts regarding the safety of electric scooters. A report was submitted in which an organization mentioned that these electric scooters don’t have mirrors or indicators. Even the standing position while riding is somewhat unstable.
They also reported that some first-time riders take their electric scooters on the street, which results in deadly accidents.
The National Institute of transportation officials says 86 million electric scooter trips were taken in the year 2019. But, unfortunately, the people who were not wearing safety gear often met with deadly accidents.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that electric scooter riders suffer more injuries than bicyclists because of potholes, lampposts, and cracks on the road. Whether you hit a bump or a crack with your electric scooter, you can be more easily thrown from the deck than if you were riding a bicycle.
Again, most people involved in an electric scooter accident don’t wear a helmet at the time of riding, so they suffer from head injuries, which can have ramifications for life.
Another study was conducted by the California University from September 2017 to August 2018 in two emergency centers in Los Angeles. The researchers concluded that electric scooter riders are injured more than bicyclists. 40% percent of them had head injuries because they were not wearing helmets. This research is published in Jama Network Open.
Electric Scooters and Public Safety
Pedestrians don’t expect a speedy vehicle to be tearing towards them on the sidewalk, so you should ensure you stay on the road. The IIHS found that riding on the sidewalk is dangerous both for pedestrians and electric scooter riders.
So, try to drive on bike paths for public safety. Thankfully some states have banned riding electric scooters on sidewalks with public safety as the chief consideration.
Driving speedily on the street can pose a danger to the public. It may cause deadly accidents and death. So, you should ride slowly and always be alert while riding. Try to use bike paths while riding an electric scooter.
Electric scooters are safe if you take the necessary precautions. Still, you should follow the tips listed in this article, always wear protective accessories, and obey your local laws to protect yourself and others.
Anyways please share your safety suggestions for this article so we can all enjoy our electric scooter rides without incident.