With the use of Electric Scooters on the rise in the UK - used as a mode of transport through the nationwide trials. Many have expressed their apprehensions with regards to the safety of these vehicles.
In light of this, the number one question that is frequently asked is, are electric scooters safe?
The answer in short is yes, as long as they are made well, include the right safety features, if the scooter undergoes regular maintenance and if the person rides appropriately.
Given that this is a somewhat new mode of transport and that the rental scooters are still in the early stages of the trial process, it is understandable that this vehicle is being met with resistance - as they are still unfamiliar to the general public.
That said, accidents can occur with any vehicle for numerous reasons. To minimise the probability of this happening when out and about on your electric scooter, we have compiled together this useful blog with tips touching on:
- The laws surrounding electric scooters.
- The safety features of your vehicle.
- What you can do as an individual, so you can ride your electric scooter responsibly and safely.
Currently in the UK it is illegal to ride a privately owned electric scooter out on public roads and pavements. The appropriate setting is on private land with the permission of the owner. However steps have been taken by the government in recent months, especially since discussions began at the recent G7 summit, where "The ministers agreed that the world should move towards zero emission vehicles".
In light of this, trials have been green lit in numerous towns and cities nationwide to observe whether electric scooters can provide a solution to reducing our carbon emissions and traffic on the currently polluted roads.
To provide insight, electric scooters generate no exhaust fumes, and are powered solely by an electric motor. This means they contribute zero air pollution, and therefore offer a more carbon neutral mode of transport. Electric Travels supports the movement towards a more electric future, as we strive to reduce our own impact on the environment. Furthermore we have also partnered up with Ecologi, which means with each customer purchase we plant one tree.
For further information regarding the trials (locations, speed limits, safety features etc) for rental scooters in the UK, visit the Government website listed below:
How can you protect yourself when out and about on your electric scooter?
Brakes are a crucial safety feature on any motorised vehicle, their responsiveness is what prevents accidents from occurring should the user need to stop immediately - for instances such as to a avoid collision, when traffic lights suddenly switch to red or if a car door opens in front of you.
Disc brakes are considered the best performing brakes for electric scooters, followed by drum brakes and then caliper (although these are not that common). Some scooters only use braking systems in either the front or rear of the vehicle, which is less desirable than having brakes on each, as these scooters won't stop as quickly. In wet conditions - where traction is worse, scooters with brakes at only the front or the rear won't perform as well and are more prone to slipping - especially as the stopping force comes from one wheel of the scooter as opposed to being more balanced on two.
When thinking about throttles we tend to associate them with high speed, however they are equally a useful safety feature. With electric scooter throttles you typically get what you give as they are sensitive to the force implemented by the rider - dependent on what mode you are in.
To utilise the throttle safely, consider your surroundings first. Should you find yourself in an area where gentle, slower acceleration is required; then switch into a lower mode to maintain control over the vehicle and avoid causing harm to yourself or others.
Lights are both useful in the dark and for bad weather conditions where visibility may be restricted. Electric scooters typically come with front and rear lighting to ensure that other vehicles clearly see you when out riding. There is a control panel available on scooters that enables riders to adjust the lighting to their liking and for what is appropriate for the conditions that the scooter is being ridden in.
Keep your eyes on the road
This may seem like a very obvious point, but most accidents tend to occur because the rider was not paying attention. Always keep your head facing the direction that you are riding. Take in your surroundings so that you can be aware of any hazards, to then provide enough time for yourself to react and take action. It is also important to note that if you are riding the rental scooters on the roads, be mindful that other vehicles are much more powerful than yours - so take extra caution.
Get to know your scooter
Before taking your electric scooter out on the roads, it is a good idea to understand how the scooter operates - especially if this is the first time you have ridden one. We recommend practicing in spaces where you are unlikely to cause an accident, such as an empty car park. During this time test out the braking systems and acceleration capability of the throttle so you can develop good habits and avoid knee jerk reactions in this department. It is important to remember to avoid unnecessary speedy acceleration and harsh braking. Even if you are an avid user of electric scooters, when switching models apply the same process as each scooter is unique and provides users with varying experiences.
Always wear a helmet
To keep your ideas where they belong and prevent the risk of injury, it is imperative to protect yourself when riding at high speeds. We have an extensive range of helmets that include numerous features that were designed with riders safety in mind.
Be careful in wet weather
As most electric scooters have an IP rating of 54 or more they are capable of being ridden in light rainy conditions without causing damage to the integrity of the scooter. That said, the riders safety requires more caution - as visibility of the roads terrain decreases, it is a good idea to take your journey slightly slower than usual to look out for any pot holes or hazards on the roads. The user should approach corners with caution as the wet conditions can make the tyres more prone to slipping.
This is particularly important if you use your electric scooter every day. Your maintenance routine should include: checking the tyre pressure (unless they are solid), the tyre traction and battery level. Brakes are also essential to check, just not as frequently. You should also make sure that you store your electric scooter away properly and introduce regular cleaning to extend it's lifespan.
Finally, make sure you stay up to date with the laws surrounding electric scooters and have fun!
Here at Electric Travels we do not endorse unsafe riding or any disregard for the traffic laws in place surrounding electric scooters. We encourage our customers and riders to follow the laws, as they stand to keep everyone safe. Ride responsibly to protect others and to evoke positive attitudes towards electric scooters, which will likely aid the movement towards a greener future.
Why buy from ET?
Electric Travels is your one-stop-shop for electric scooters. With renowned brands like Egret, InMotion and E-TWOW all under one roof, you’re sure to find the perfect fit.
All our electric scooters are UK stocked and come with full manufacturer warranties – no cheap and nasty knockoffs! But don’t take our word for it: Trust Pilot attests to our happy customers.
We’ve partnered with DPD to bring you rapid, reliable delivery. Orders placed before 2pm are eligible for free next day delivery. Or, simply pick a time and place that suits you. Tracking info is provided the moment your scooter leaves our warehouse.
We accept all major credit cards and Paypal - with the option to pay over three interest-free instalments. Less hassle, more scooting!
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1.) Harrabin.R, (2021), "Climate change: G7 ministers agree new steps against fossil fuels", BBC News, 21 May, Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-57203400 [Accessed 30/7/21]