Safety Precautions on Electric Scooters

One of the significant solutions introduced by environmentalists to curb carbon dioxide emission is by infusing electric scooters to urban cities and developing areas all over the world. The e-scooters brought positive results not only to save the environment from air pollution but also to traffic congestion as well. This wonderful equipment delivered convenience to the riding public as it resolved the last mile concern for people living away from bus, subway, and train stations. With all of the electric scooters’ glory, it also faced numerous accidents due to reckless driving and poor awareness of the vehicle’s limitations and functionality. Safety precautions on electric scooters apply to every rider and must be taken seriously.

Electric Scooter Related Injuries

The Public Health Transportation Departments in Austin, Texas made a study concerning electric scooter related injuries in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The research resulted in the identification of 271 e-scooter related injuries from September 5 to November 30, 2018. The department presented the study to the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia at the Epidemic Intelligence Service Conference.

The study documented 182,333 e-scooter hours used with an equivalent of 891,121 miles travelled by the vehicles or 936,110 trips made by these machines. Records showed that 20 people sustained injuries per 100,000 trips on e-scooters in the 3-month study. Of the 20 accidents that happened to e-scooter riders, 10 people suffered head injuries. These injuries could have been prevented by a safety precaution of wearing a helmet. The study further revealed that only one of the 190 electric scooter riders use the protective helmet.

Electric Scooter Rising in Urban Cities in America

According to the National Association of City Transportation Officials in the US, there were 38.5 million trips rode or shared on electric scooters across urban cities in America in 2018. This is the phenomenon the country is experiencing right now, mainly in cities and college towns. Investors began pouring money to e-scooter companies after they saw the potential return of their money from these investments. Start-up companies like BIRD and LIME, received funding from venture capitalists to promote further the deployment of the transport. The popularity is so great that even the taxi giants like UBER and LYFT joined the fray to contribute their share in resolving traffic congestion, minimizing of air pollution, and providing solutions for the last mile issue.

The popularity of the electric scooter brought along safety regulatory oversights. Injuries were common and grew to be a problem posing difficulties in promoting safety precautions on electric scooter riders. Other studies followed on electric scooter related injuries but the Austin model was the research that federal epidemiologists gave priority.

Safety Precautions on Electric Scooters

Interviews with Electric Scooter Casualties

The Austin Public Health department, along with CDC researchers talked to people injured while on an e-scooter for possible causes and other relevant information that led to their injuries. The study did not have a death incident documented but there are some reports of deaths while riding an e-scooter around the country. The interviews revealed that 55% met their accidents on the streets while 33% were on the sidewalk. Of the accidents that occured, cars or other vehicles caused the incident at 16% while 37% blamed overspeeding to be the cause of their crash. Injuries tallied at 16% of the car-related accidents but only 10 % actually crashed with a car. The other injured riders consist of 10% hitting a curb and 7% hit street structures such as a pole or a manhole cover.

Further interviews saw that ⅓ of the injured respondents consumed alcohol in a span of 12 hours before the incident; 37% pointed to overspeeding on the e-scooter and a surprising 19% had injuries from falling caused by non-working brakes and wheels malfunctions. Other injuries were due to distracted driving because of using the phone and another with earphones on listening to music.

Another perception of the causes of accidents happening is during night-time driving. On the contrary, only 39% of the injuries happened during the night with the inclusive time from 6 PM to 6 AM. Morning and evening rush hours took 20% of the accidents with an additional 22% occuring during working hours.

It is not surprising that the reports issued by the department showed that one third of the injuries on electric scooters are with first time riders. E-scooter companies require first time riders to swipe on a tutorial on safety precautions before hopping on the vehicle. Authors say that the download of safety precautions on electric scooters is not enough in getting ready to scoot at 20 mph speeds down the road for novice riders. The injured number to 70% saying that they read the downloaded safety warnings before they rode the e-scooter while 60% say that the safety training came after their injuries happened.

Electric Scooter Safety Precautions

Safety Equipment

Always wear standard safety equipment like the helmet, gloves, knee and elbow protector, and close tipped shoes. We don’t want to meet accidents but it is best to be safe than sorry.

Tires Check

Always keep the tires in check by optically inspecting them  first if they are in good shape. Deformed tires means it is not safe to ride the electric scooter. Maintain the required pressure of the e-scooter tires. Check the thread if its still in good condition. You put yourself at risk riding on an e-scooter with worn-out threads in the tires.

Be Aware of Pedestrians and Traffic

Do not allow yourself on any distraction from your surroundings. Focus on your driving so you can elude accidents on heavy passersby and oncoming traffic.

Look out for Barriers and other Inanimate Objects

Concentrate of the road you are trodding. Accidents are sometime due to obstruction blunders down the road.

Choose Your Path

Riders must avoid slippery surfaces or deep mud and snow at all times. Exercise caution when reeling through these unstable terrain to avoid injuries when you take that fall.

Relax and Keep Calm

This safety precaution is often times taken for granted with the thought of getting to your destination as fast as possible. Push lightly and never pressure yourself and the machine to speed up your arrival.

Do not Drive Under a Stormy Weather

It is dangerous to drive under a stormy weather on an electric scooter. Riding on an e-scooter under this condition is prone to lightning strikes that could mame or kill you.

Injuries and accidents are preventable when exercising safety precautions on electric scooters. Ride safely and arrive home in one piece.
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