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There are dangers to every mode of transport, but we can easily manage the risk with some preparation and common sense. In this post, we will highlight the different ways you can stay safe while riding your electric scooter.
Buy A Quality Electric Scooter
Buying an electric scooter from a reputable brand is a great start. You should check out their warranty and what it covers. All of the major components should be covered for at least 12 months. It shows you that the manufacturer is confident in the quality of their product.
But the best way to determine if a scooter is safe is to look at its components. The first thing to look at is its brakes. The majority of electric scooter manufacturers fit their scooters with drum, disc, or foot brakes. These all have their own benefits, but disc and drum brakes provide you with the most stopping power. Hydraulic disc brakes are the most effective, as they are easy to modulate, and you get a good feel to stay in control when riding your scooter.
Tires are an essential feature of any electric scooter. They make a massive difference in how it handles and how comfortable it is to ride. As a side note, if you choose a scooter with pneumatic tyres, you may want to use a tyre sealant to reduce the likelihood of you getting a puncture. A puncture on the roadside can be awkward and cause you to carry your scooter for the rest of your journey. Tyre sealant is a liquid that sits inside the tyre. If you get a puncture, the sealant fills the hole and plugs it so air cannot escape. Most of the time, you don’t even know you have had a puncture, so you can continue your journey blissfully unaware.
When using an electric scooter for commuting, you may have to ride in low light conditions. It is essential to make sure you are visible to other road users. A good electric scooter will be equipped with LED lights front and back. Some of them have lights built into the deck so car drivers can see you side on when it starts to get darker.
If your scooter has just reflectors and does not have lights, you should buy some. You don’t need to push the boat out and buy anything too expensive, but any kind of light that will make you more visible is better than nothing.
To enhance your visibility, you should avoid wearing dark clothes while riding. It would be best to wear something brightly coloured or reflective, so drivers can see you better.
Just as you would on a bike, a helmet is a good investment. Wearing a helmet is not always a legal requirement in all cities, but they are advised by many. Indeed, a helmet won’t protect you from all accidents, but it will often protect you if you lose your balance and hit your head on a curb or the road.
Keep Your Electric Scooter Maintained
Most electric scooters are pretty simple, especially when you compare them to bikes. There are fewer components to go wrong, but there are some simple maintenance tasks you can do to keep it running smoothly and safely.
The most simple thing to do with your electric scooter is to wash it. But before you start squirting it with a hose, check its IP rating to see if it is water-resistant. Even if it is, don’t use a pressure washer, as it can cause damage.
Cleaning off road grime and anything that could corrode the components of your scooter is very important, though.
Washing your scooter provides you with an excellent opportunity to see if everything is how it should be. If you see something is loose, you should tighten it. But it is worth going around all the bolts regularly to make sure they are tight. But don’t over tighten them, as this can cause more problems than it solves.
While you check over your electric scooter, make sure its tyre pressures are as they should be. The owners manual will state the correct PSI, and you can check it with a tyre pressure gauge. Some pumps have a gauge, but a digital pressure gauge is more accurate and cheap to buy.
When you check the pressures, you should inspect the tyres for signs of wear and damage at the same time. You will see if you need to change your tyres soon, by how much tread there is left on them. Another thing is to look for is anything that might be stuck in the tyre. Often scooter tyres pick up sharp things such as thorns that may puncture the inner tube. All this takes a couple of minutes and is very simple to do.
Riding your electric scooter often will wear out your brakes. Therefore, every couple of weeks, check them for signs of wear to make sure you have all the stopping power you need.
Ride With Care
It is easy to get excited and just jump on your new electric scooter and ride off into the sunset without a care in the world. But, it is a good idea to find somewhere safe to try it out safely first.
A test is not necessary for riding an electric scooter, but you should find somewhere you practice to get the hang of it and build your confidence. You need to be aware of how it accelerates, stops, and handles before taking it out into the streets.
Find an empty car park to practice in. Once you get there, get used to unfolding it, switching it on, setting off, balancing, steering and stopping. If you feel like you are going to fall, jump off and drop your scooter. Just because you are still on it when it hits the ground doesn’t mean you will stop it from being damaged, but it could stop you from being injured. Remember, you are the important factor here, not your scooter.
A top tip for riding an electric scooter is to keep your knees slightly bent. You will be able to react to changes in the road’s surface much easier and keep your balance. Some electric scooter riders like to raise their heels slightly to help them absorb small bumps in the road.
When it comes to the technique of riding, the best thing to do is to always look where you are going. You will automatically go where you are looking, so pick a line with no hazards or obstacles, and you will be fine. If you see an obstacle, don’t look at it…..because you automatically go where you are looking.
It is a good idea to get some road sense when riding your electric scooter. By knowing what vehicles are likely to do in certain situations, you will stay much safer on the roads. Also, it may be tempting to wear headphones while riding your scooter. The problem with this is that listening to loud music can isolate you from what is happening around you. If you do wear headphones while riding, try to keep the volume to a level where you can still hear potential dangers coming your way.
Be Careful Riding In The Wet
It is essential to know if your scooter is suitable for riding in the rain. Not all electric scooters are 100% waterproof, so you need to be aware of its IP (Ingress Protection) rating. The IP rating is a two-digit number. The first number describes the scooter’s resistance to solid objects and ranges from 1 to 6. The second number represents its moisture resistance and ranges from 1 to 9.
The lower the moisture number is, the less it is resistant to moisture. For example, a moisture rating of 1 shows that the scooter is only protected from vertically falling drops of water. A scooter that is protected from rain should have a rating of 5. This rating is suitable for protection against low-pressure jets of moisture coming from any angle.
If you ride in the rain, a precaution of switching on your lights is a good idea to ensure you are as visible to traffic as possible.
When riding your electric scooter in wet weather, you should always avoid puddles. The main reason for this, its that you don’t know how deep they are. If your front wheel drops into a hole that is too big for it, you could easily fall off. Also, some electric scooters used for commuting don’t have a high ground clearance, which can cause problems when you ride into a hidden pothole.
None of this is complicated stuff, but it is worth bringing to your attention. It is great to have a little reminder about what can keep us safe doing anything in life. So when you are commuting on your electric scooter, make sure you ride a good scooter that is well maintained and use your common sense.