February 16, 2022
If you’ve seen electric scooters whizzing around your city, you’ve likely realised that they’re more than just a passing trend — e-scooters are here to stay. And for a good reason.
Electric scooters are convenient, eco-friendly and a lot of fun to ride. But just like any other method of transportation, you’ll want to know the basics before you go for your first ride. If you’ve been wanting to take one for a spin but you’re wondering how to ride a scooter safely, consider the following article your go-to guide for how to ride an electric scooter for beginners.
Even though you’re on two wheels instead of four, e-scooter riders still must abide by the same traffic laws as other vehicles. More specifically, this means obeying traffic signs, taking care to stay below the speed limit, and yielding to pedestrians.
Whenever there is an option, it’s safest to join your fellow two-wheeled travellers and opt for the bike lane. As more and more urban areas are creating routes for alternative methods of transportation, bike lanes are gaining appeal for all types of riders.
Whether you’re a daily commuter or just want to go out for a joy ride, bike lanes are often the safest (and let’s face it, most visually appealing) option for travelling across the city.
We get it, nothing ruins an insta-ready OOTD like a chunky, clunky helmet. But the fact remains that wearing a helmet while operating an e-scooter can be one of the best ways to protect yourself from injury when travelling.
Remember that, unlike a car, there’s no airbag in case of impact, so it’s best to ride with a little extra protection. Get a quality, stylish helmet that doesn’t take up too much space so you can easily carry it with you when you’re out and about.
With all that extra space to stand on, it’s easy to assume that e-scooters are built for two. While we agree that this can be an economical (and even romantic) way to travel, it’s also not safe.
Riding an e-scooter requires balance, and it only takes one person losing theirs to create instability which can result in serious injury.
We’ll be the first to admit that taking an e-scooter for a joy ride while listening to your favourite tunes is the very definition of care-free.
Unfortunately, it’s also quite dangerous. Just like when operating any other form of transportation, you can’t always know how others on the road are going to react. It’s best to stay as alert as possible, which means keeping your eyes and ears open.
There’s a very good reason that handlebars have a place for both hands. Dual handles mean that the operator retains much better control than if they’re steering with just one hand.
There are a variety of different reasons that people decide to ride with one hand: some want to use their other hand to operate than an electronic device. Others feel that riding the scooter one-handed makes them look relaxed and carefree… Maybe a bit dangerous (in a good way).
But it also makes it much more challenging to retain control when you hit a surprise pothole or a restless driver decides that red lights don’t apply to them and you need to swerve out of the way at the last minute.
It all comes down to simple physics, really. Electric scooters are designed to be heftier than their analogue cousins, and thus, pick up speed more quickly when travelling downhill (because, well… gravity).
While one minute you might be travelling at a swift-but-safe speed, it doesn’t take long to realise that you’re going way too fast and picking up speed by the second. In situations like this, be sure to keep a firm grip on both handlebars, and use those brakes generously but gently. Be careful not to use the brakes too abruptly, which can result in your scooter stopping, while you continue the journey airborne. Owch!
Inclement weather and e-scooters can get tricky. It’s generally not a problem to use e-scooters in the rain — especially if it’s just a gentle drizzle. But just like cars, e-scooters are vulnerable in slippery conditions.
If you get caught riding in a sudden downpour — or if the temperature drops and the roads become icy — remember to take it slow, be on extra alert, and consider ditching the e-scooter for an alternative method of transportation that will be a safer option in bad weather.
Now that you’re up to date on how to ride a scooter safely, you’re ready to put this new information to work in the real world. Be safe, but have fun; you’ve got this!