The electric scooter takeover has been underway for a few years now. And it’s easy to see why. They’re easy to use and a fun way to get from point A to point B. In fact, a growing number of riders use eScooters to ease the burden of daily commutes to and from work. But at the end of the day, electric scooter are powerful transportation vehicles that deserve respect when being ridden.
With that said, electric scooters are considered safer than manual (kick) scooters. They are more controlled, since you are most likely to have both your feet on the deck. That means the ride is more stable. But accidents do still happen — especially with the rideshare electric scooters.
But that’s why we’re here, to help you enjoy worry-free scootering:
8 Tips to Prevent Electric Scooter Injuries
- Always Wear Protective Gear When Riding
- RTM (Read the Manual)
- Practice! Practice! Practice!
- Ride with Purpose, Care and Consideration
- Avoid Unfavorable Riding Conditions
- Understand Your State/Local Laws Regarding eScooters
- Use Hand Signals
- Keep Up on Your Electric Scooter Maintenance
With the boon in rideshare electric scooters, authorities have noticed an increase in hospital visits that stem from scooter-related accidents. In one study, researchers reviewed 249 such cases between September 2017 to August 2018. Of the injuries, 31.7 percent were fractures and 40.2 percent were head contusions or sprains. Even more alarming, researchers noted that 94 percent of the riders in the study did not wear a helmet.
Now this number makes sense when you consider that most of the injuries came from people who rented electric scooters. This is why ride-sharing eScooters has always left us with a sour taste in our mouths. After all, no one carries a helmet with them on the off-chance that they might possibly maybe hop on an electric scooter – let along be able to find one that’s fully charged and in great working order.
Another reason why renting’s for the birds.
Always Wear Protective Gear
This should go without saying. If you’re riding an electric scooter – or even an electric bike – you should always protect your dome. Wearing a helmet has been shown to provide a 63 to 88 percent reduction in the risk of critical head, brain and severe brain injury. Additionally, elbow pads can prevent up to 82 percent of elbow injuries, while knee pads can significantly reduce knee injuries by 32 percent.
Make sure your protective gear is age-appropriate and certified by one of these three agencies:
- SNELL Memorial Foundation
- American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
- American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
Wearing a helmet and protective gear will go a long way in giving you added protection when you ride. There are a lot of them out there. Some even look super stylish. But the important thing is you have one and that you wear it every time to ride.
Always RTM (Read the Manual)
We put a lot of effort into making sure our manuals are informative, concise, accurate and easy to read. In them, you’ll find everything you’ll need to know about assembly, usage, maintenance and much more. Reading the manual is the first step in getting familiar with all the controls of your eScooter.
✓ Need to know how to turn on the headlight? It’s in the manual.
✓ Need to know how to enable cruise control? It’s in the manual.
✓ Need to know how adjust the brakes? ✓ How to clean the electric scooter? ✓ How to inflate the tires?
Knowing the ins and outs of your electric scooter, backwards and forwards, will help you ride with skill and — dare we say it? — panache.
Practice! Practice! Practice!
Reading the manual will definitely go a long way in getting you familiar with the controls of your electric scooter. But nothing can beat good ol’ fashioned practice.
Take it slow at first. Some of our scooters have multiple riding modes that put a cap on the top speeds the eScooter can go. Our Swagger 3 Pro and Swagger 5 Elite both have these modes. Keep it on the lowest level until you’re comfortable mounting, dismounting and turning.
And don’t forget to wear your protective gear, even when practicing!
Ride with Purpose, Care and Consideration
Nearly 10 percent of those injured in that study we mentioned earlier were pedestrians. So one of the ways you can ride smart is by showing some love for pedestrians.
- No riding on sidewalks unless local law requires or permits. (This is where knowing your local laws will come in handy.)
- Always yield to pedestrians.
- Ride with the flow of traffic, never against.
- Follow all traffic signs, signals and lane markings.
Avoid Unfavorable Riding Conditions:
Low-Light, Crowds and Uneven Pavement
Although some of our scooters have LED headlights that help you see and be seen, it’s always best to avoid low-light conditions whenever possible. That includes night-time adventures. It can hard to see what’s in front of you, especially when you’re traveling upwards 10, 11, 12 mph or faster.
And electric scooters work best on flat, level pavement. Stay clear of sharp inclines, steep hills and, most of all, uneven pavement. The Swagger 3 Pro features low-maintenance rubber tires with rear suspension and the Swagger 5 Elite (link to product page) uses a pneumatic (air-filled) front tire. Both of these will help smooth out rougher rides. But when you find yourself on a particularly bumpy path, it’s best to hold off the scooter and walk it over the bumps.
Really like the convenience and power of an e-rideable and enjoy rough-riding it a bit? Maybe you should try one of our fat-tire eBikes — the EB6 or EB8. (link to product pages)
Understand Your State and Local Laws
We’ve talked before about how confusing state and local laws can be regarding electric scooters and eBikes:
Whether you can legal ride your electric scooter will depend on a confusing mix of state and local laws. Your state might allow e-scooters; your city might not. A city might encourage e-scooters as a smart, efficient way to get around town; your college might think otherwise.
But it’s important that you fully understand how electric scooters are viewed in your neighborhood, your college, your city and your state. This will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as an eScooter rider.
- Can you ride on the sidewalk?
- Can you ride in bike lanes?
- Can you cross at intersections?
- Do you need a valid driver’s license?
All these questions and more might be already decided at the state or local level. It’s best that you are aware of what’s expected from you.
We recommend checking out that full article for our tips on how to quickly and easily research the laws in your area regarding electric scooters.
Use Hand Signals
Being aware of your surroundings is important. Part of that awareness includes signaling to onlookers and passers-by your movement intentions — turning left, turning right or stopping. The tried and true method for doing this, barring electronic turn signals, is through arm movements.
- Stopping = Extend your left arm out and bend your arm down at the elbow.
- Turning Right = Extend your right arm straight out to your side; basically, pointing in the direction you’re turning.
- Turning Left = Extend your left arm straight out to your side.
(In some communities, you can also signal a right turn by extending your left arm out and bending your arm up at the elbow. This is common enough that, as a rider or pedestrian, you should be aware of it.)
Make sure you quickly glance behind you to see if there are any pedestrians (other scooter riders, bicyclists, runners) behind you. And be careful: Not all electric scooters are easy to operate with one hand.
Keep Up on Your Electric Scooter Maintenance
Electric scooters are fun. But they’re not called “light electric vehicles” (LEVs) for nothing. And as a vehicle, they’ll require regular maintenance. Check brakes and tire inflation regularly, if not daily, to make sure everything is in tip-top shape. Some eScooters, like our Swagger 5 Elite, have brakes that you can adjust and tighten to your liking, letting you come to a complete stop faster and respond quicker.
If the tires in your electric scooter are pneumatic (air-filled), then you’ll definitely want to check the tire pressure regularly — especially after long trips and extended adventures.
Tire pressure is key for getting the most out of your eScooter’s performance and can affect everything from how fast you can go, and far you can go on a single charge. So check it often!
Check out our video on Swagger 5 Elite maintenance.
There’s no doubt that riding an electric scooter is exhilarating. As with bicycling or skateboarding, however, it comes with a lot of responsibility. Riding requires a fair bit of practice and a healthy dose of common sense. But by following these eight tips, you can have a riding experience that is worry-free — for you and everyone around you.