HOW TO RIDE A SCOOTER SAFELY (AND LEGALLY!)
Some people have jumped the gun. We’ve all seen it. Electric Scooters are beginning to make their presence known on UK roads, something which is still currently illegal. While we don’t condone such activities, we’re also aware that there are plenty of people making the most out of their new toys legally, on privately owned land or as part of rental schemes, and we think it’s important that they are fully equipped with the necessary knowledge to do so safely.
Scooter safety begins before you even leave the house, and should always start with the proper protective clothing. A good quality helmet should always be worn, and you can even acquire smart helmets now that come fitted with lights. Gloves are advisable, as are practical clothing. Cover up your skin with long sleeved tops and full length trousers and make sure that you wear comfortable closed toe shoes. If you can find reflective materials for your clothes then even better.
So we’re ready to leave right? Wrong. You’re ready, but your Electric Scooter might not be. There are a few things to check first. Make sure the battery has a decent amount of charge, and do your basic maintenance checks, paying attention to the state of your brakes, tyres and throttle. As the nights draw in closer it’s important to make sure you’re visible, but it’s also important to take note of visibility out on the roads. Road and weather conditions play a huge factor in how you should ride. Be careful in wet conditions, keep an eye out for obstacles and hazards on the road such as potholes and drain covers and if it’s icy outside, maybe find another way to get to your destination.
If it’s your first time, then a test drive on a quiet road is advisable for your debut outing but once you’re used to your scooters acceleration, handling and speed you should be ready to go.
It should go without saying, but always follow the rules of the road. This includes making sure you’re always riding solo, as E-scooters simply are not made for more than one person. Take advantage of the road safety infrastructure that’s already in place. Use cycle lanes when you can, stop at red lights and stay off the pavements. Keep your distance from cars for your safety and everyone else’s, and always ride single file if you’re out with a group. Some things just come down to a question of decency. Be considerate of other road users and pedestrians and make use of your bell to alert others to your presence.
E-scooters are fun by design, but like any vehicle, improper use can be dangerous and some aspects of this are just common sense. Always keep both feet on the deck and both hands on the handlebars. And again, this one might go without saying, but you should never ride your e-scooter under the influence of alcohol or other medications. When you arrive at your destination, make sure that you put your scooter in a safe place and that it’s not causing an obstruction and if you want it to be there when you get back, we suggest investing in a decent lock. After all, if this year has proven anything, it’s that electric scooters are quickly becoming hot property and with good reason.