Can Electric Scooters be Dangerous?
Electric scooters are increasingly popular in European and North-American cities. Globally, the industry is expected to be worth upwards of $16.5 billion by 2027. They’re a big business, and it’s easy to see why. Electric scooters offer many benefits – they’re a quick, versatile way of getting from A to B, and have a far smaller impact on the environment than other modes of transport. Given that more people are taking to two wheels, it’s worth asking – are electric scooters dangerous?
In the first half of 2019, 618 accidents were reported by police forces around the UK. The actual figure is however likely to be higher as the Metropolitan police didn’t report its statistics, and many people may not have reported less serious accidents.
In terms of injuries sustained, the most accurate picture comes from the United States. Spanning a year, two medical centres in California recorded emergency department admissions from those involved in electric scooter accidents. Of the 249 patients admitted, the majority had suffered injuries due to falling off the e-scooters rather than being hit by another vehicle or person. Fractures and head trauma were the most common injuries – hardly surprising given that less than 5% of riders had been wearing a helmet. The e-scooters aren’t the problem – unsafe riding habits are!
Given that most accidents are caused by the rider rather than other people, it’s worth taking a look at how you can make riding your electric scooter as safe as possible.
Many electric scooters pack a powerful punch. FuroSystem’s Fuze Electric Scooter is able to accelerate to over 20 mph – useful to whip around on, but potentially intimidating if you’ve never used one before. We’d recommend you take your time in getting to grips with your new scooter. Start with slow speeds and limit yourself to an area you’re familiar with.
Wear Safety Gear
The importance of the right safety gear cannot be overemphasised. Wearing a helmet alone reduces the risk of serious head injury by as much as 70%. If you’re hopping onto an electric scooter you might also want to consider knee pads, elbow pads, and a sturdy pair of gloves. Falling over is never fun, especially if you’re whizzing along at 20mph. Covering your joints will reduce the risk of fracture, and the gloves will protect your hands if you use them as you fall. The cliché rings true: better safe than sorry!
Keeping your scooter in good shape is another way to stay safe when out riding. Here are some key considerations to ensure you maintain it in tip-top condition.
The most important part of the scooter, you’ll want to make sure your battery doesn’t fail you when out and about. To minimise the risk of battery mishaps, avoid running its charge down to 0% – doing so can increase the rate of degradation of cathodes in lithium-ion batteries. Strangely enough, charging it to 100% capacity also has this effect – try to keep the charge at approximately 60%. Read our full guide to getting the most out of your battery.
Check your brakes regularly to ensure they’re working effectively. Brake pads can wear down over time with regular use and need replacing periodically. Check them over on a weekly basis and if you hear any metal scraping sounds or feel a lack of responsiveness, step off and give them a look immediately – it’s probably time to change!
There are a couple of things to consider when checking over your scooter’s tyres. Firstly, monitor the air pressure – the recommended pressure per square inch (PSI) should be stated on the tyre wall. Check regularly and make sure you’re keeping at the recommended level – it’ll improve the safety of the scooter whilst ensuring your ride is as comfortable as possible.
Another thing to check over on your scooter’s tyres is the tread – this is the patterned inset on the exterior of the tyre which improves traction to the riding surface. The tread can wear down over time, especially if you regularly ride on hard or rough surfaces. As a general rule, if the tread is less than 2mm, it’s time to order a replacement.
Where To Ride Your Scooter
A key factor in staying safe on your scooter is being aware of where you’re allowed to ride it. In the UK, it’s illegal to ride electric scooters on public pavements and streets – stick to privately-owned land. In Europe, rules vary between countries. Germany, France, Austria, and Switzerland allow electric scooters on public streets but have different rules and regulations regarding speed and power. If you want to ride your electric scooter out on public roads, we’d always recommend checking the laws of the particular country.
Electric scooters are becoming a more frequent sight on city streets in Europe and the States. As with any vehicle, there will always be a risk of danger when riding one. However, following these tips will help to reduce your risk of causing injury to yourself and others.
FuroSystem’s Fuze Electric Scooter is a great choice for beginners and experienced riders alike. Its large 10” inch pneumatic tires offer a superb riding experience whilst providing stability over uneven ground, and powerful front and rear lights ensure that you’re seen at night. Take a look at the reviews to see what our satisfied riders are saying!
Very interesting report.Are scooters likely to be usable by aged people who are otherwise fit?