At some point, people thought throwing electric scooters at the bottom of the river was cool, which is as radical as kids burning Nikes on video. “Scooter rage” became popular so that there’s even an Instagram account dedicated to abusing Bird scooters. For some people, electric scooters are a danger and a nuisance to the city. Are electric scooters a threat or is it plain misuse?
The reception of electric scooter Xiaomi in Australia is far less destructive than in the US, but the pattern of incidents are similar. People fall off the electric scooter and get a head injury. People are tripping over abandoned electric scooters. Pedestrians get hit by speeding riders. Electric scooters are getting hit by cars.
The common denominator here, however, is that the electric scooter is a passive participant in all these situations. These accidents are preventable if every rider uses the electric scooter like a responsible adult. When people use electric scooters as toys instead of motorized vehicles, that’s when they fail to recognize the risk involved.
How to Prevent Injuries While Riding an Electric Scooter
These are easy steps that can help prevent you from getting injured or causing injury to other people.
Assess your risk
Riding your electric scooter at night or on high-traffic roads is a high risk, especially if you’re not allowed on footpaths and you’re area doesn’t have dedicated bike lanes. You can use a bike helmet with an LED light to be more visible. Stay on the side of the road and wear safety gear.
Use your own helmet
Whether you’re renting an electric scooter or you have your own, it’s best to use your own helmet. This is far better than sharing a helmet with strangers (gross) or scouring for a Lime scooter with one (they disappear faster than they’re replaced). There are different helmets that you can use for electric scooters depending on your speed. If you’re commuting in the city at less than 32 km/h, a commuter bike helmet is appropriate.
Safety over speed
The Xiaomi m365 electric scooter is popular because it has the right speed and enough range for commuting. It’s tempting to get a high-performance electric scooter but when you’re sharing a space with pedestrians, bikes, and cars safety is more important.
Make sure that your electric scooter has the right safety features:
- At least 8-9 inch pneumatic tires – they dampen the impact and provide good traction on wet roads. Small solid tires are going to throw you off on every unexpected pothole.
- Good braking response – must be fewer than 17 feet
- Lights and reflectors – bright headlight, big taillight, and reflectors on the front and sides. You can add reflector stickers.
- Bell or a signal to warn pedestrians – people don’t necessarily watch out for electric scooters because it’s still a new way to get around the city
Follow the rules
Electric scooters are like any other vehicle – don’t drive while texting, drunk, high, and anything that will put you and other people at risk. Stick to the speed limit and locations where you are permitted. The fun police are just doing their job.
Buy your own electric scooter
If you’re going to use an electric scooter every day might as well buy one. You won’t be leaving it carelessly in the streets and maintain it well. If you’re just renting an electric scooter, treat it as if you own it.
Electric scooters are new, and like any new technology, they are met with cynicism and caution. Bikes aren’t going to get banned when collisions happen because they’re already embedded in everyday life. Cities are still adjusting to rideable technology and new trials are being held across Australia. The fact is electric scooters are beneficial to commuters and the community. As long as we are mindful of our surroundings, electric scooters are here to stay.