Scoot Along Safely
Riding electric scooters (e-scooters) is an eco-friendly way of reducing street traffic while enjoying the beautiful weather. They’re faster than walking, and you don’t have to worry about parking issues like you do a car (other than being sure to keep them out of the way). Although e-scooters are not as fast as motorcycles, they can be very dangerous when not used properly. If you are new to riding e-scooters, there are some helpful safety guidelines that you should follow.
First and foremost, always be aware of your surroundings. Some cities do not have a bike lane, so you might choose to ride your scooter on the sidewalk with pedestrians. Just be polite and let them know as you approach. Watch out for curbs and bumps. The small wheels of the scooter are more likely to get stuck in a pothole than bike wheels. Crashes happen, but one way to prevent a serious injury is to wear protective gear such as a helmet. Many companies have agreed to give out free helmets to the riders who do not own one.
Most e-scooters have speed limitations. However, no matter how slow you ride, always allow more room when stopping. The brakes are often not as responsive and quick as the ones on a car.
Second, when riding on the road, be cautious of traffic. If that’s the only place you can ride your scooter, do not make any sudden turns. Make sure that you always give a signal when turning and do not ride in the middle of the road. Allow cars to pass you.
Depending on where you choose to ride your scooter, follow the rules that apply to that path. If you are on a sidewalk with pedestrians, use only the sidewalk and do not switch between the road and the sidewalk. When you are on the road, do not cross the street if the light is red and so on. Following the rules and being cautious does not only affect you, but everyone around you as well.
Just like any other vehicle, do not operate an e-scooter under the influence. It is very dangerous and it can result in serious injuries for you and the people around you. Depending on the state you live in, by law, if you use the scooter when you are intoxicated, you are guilty of DUI (driving under the influence).
Some electric scooter companies require the drivers to have a driver’s license, which means children under the age of 16 are not allowed to operate scooters. States also have restrictions on who can ride a scooter. When renting one, make sure that you are fully informed of the state and company laws before driving or allowing someone to drive without a driver’s license. For example, in some states, you can get a DUI for operating an e-scooter while under the influence. Even in states where there are no DUIs for that, you could be putting others in danger of injuries any time you ride an e-scooter in an improper or dangerous manner.
E-scooters are a great way to cruise the downtown streets with your friends. However, the scooters are designed for only one person to ride at a time, unless indicated otherwise. It is easy for two people to hop on the scooter at the same time, but in the event that something happens and the other person gets injured, you can be held accountable for those injuries.
E-scooters are a very fun and affordable way to drive around town, but just like any other vehicle, they must be operated cautiously. Remember, your actions can affect many around you.