If you’re new to scooter riding, there are a few safety tips you need to follow in order to remain safe on the road. It’s important that you know how to operate your scooter before you venture out onto the road. When you buy an electric scooter, find a quiet parking lot and practice there. Be sure to read the user’s manual and any other safety information that’s provided by the manufacturer. Always obey traffic rules for pedestrians because a person riding an electric scooter is still classified as a pedestrian.
Important Safety and Maintenance Tips for your Electric Scooter
When operating your scooter on the road you’ll need to obey the same rules for pedestrians including using sidewalks whenever possible. If there aren’t any sidewalks travel on the far left side of the road, facing traffic. Make sure you cross at designated crosswalks. Obey all traffic devices and control signs.
You should also ensure your scooter is running properly. Make sure that all the electrical components are securely in place and be sure to check and secure all of the fasteners prior to each ride. There shouldn’t be any unusual sounds or rattles from broken components or loose parts. If you do hear an unusual noise and aren’t sure of the source take your scooter to an experienced mechanic and have it checked out. The chain on the model should be taunt but not piano wire tight. Careful not to adjust the chain too tightly as this can severely damage the chain.
Take a look at the brake system. When you press the brake, the brakes should provide the proper response. If you press the brake with the speed control still on, the cut-off switch should stop the motor.
Check the scooter for any broken connections and cracks. A broken frame is pretty rare but can occur after a serious crash. Try to get in the habit of inspecting your scooter regularly, especially before a long journey.
Pay attention to the tires of your scooter and look for excess wear. You should also check out the tire pressure and inflate if necessary. If you get a flat you can purchase a replacement from the manufacturer’s website or from your local bike supply store. We recommend always keeping a spare in your garage. Air compressors that are found at gas stations are designed to air up high volume car tires so be careful when using. If you use this type of air supply with your electric scooter make sure the gauge is working correctly, then inflate using short bursts of air. If you accidentally over inflate the tires you’ll need to remove the excess air immediately in order to avoid popping a tire.
Protective Gear for Escooter Riding
Always wear protective gear when riding your scooter. This includes elbow and knee pads and a helmet. You can also purchase a bell which works to alert drivers or pedestrians as you fly down the road, potentially preventing an accident. Wear athletic shoes and never ride your scooter wearing sandals or without shoes.
If you don’t fit comfortably on your scooter you shouldn’t ride it. Don’t attempt to modify your model because each scooter is designed for a specific type of performance and is only compatible with certain parts. Never try to use an unapproved battery. Using unapproved parts including batteries can void the product warranty. Replacement parts are available through the manufacturer. This does not include upgrade kits.
Most manufacturers recommend that users practice applying the brakes at a variety of speeds, in an open area before riding with others.
Tricking and performing stunts with an electric model can reduce the scooter’s ability to be controlled or its maneuverability.
Don’t take your scooter out on uncultivated terrain, especially models that aren’t equipped with shocks. Instead, ride on smooth paved surfaces, away from vehicles. Avoid surfaces and streets with dirt, water, leaves, gravel, sand or other types of debris. If the street is wet it can affect the scooter’s traction and braking system. Try to avoid anything that causes the front wheel to stop including potholes and bumps.
If your scooter isn’t equipped with both a headlight and a backlight avoid riding at night.
Because the brakes can get hot after a long commute do not touch them after braking.
Never gun the motor during a downhill ride in order to avoid flipping the scooter over or affecting the brake’s stopping ability.
If you’re purchasing a scooter for a child, you’ll need to assist them with adjusting the scooter to the proper height, including the handlebars.
Driving Requirements for Electric Scooters by State
Driving restrictions and licensing for electric scooters can vary from state to state and will depend on a number of factors including the weight of the scooter and the maximum speed. In California and Oregon, the rider must have a learners permit or license to ride an electric scooter that goes thirty miles per hour or faster. No license plates, registration or insurance is required. The rider must wear a bicycle helmet at all times. On the road, the driver is not allowed to operate their scooter over twenty-five miles per hour unless they’re riding in the bike lane. When possible the driver will need to ride on the right side of the road next to the curb. A driver can never ride their scooter on a sidewalk and must keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.
When driving at night a headlight and backlight are required. The size of the handlebars cannot exceed the shoulder height of the rider. When using the scooter you cannot carry any passengers. The scooter should also be equipped with an engine kill switch that works when the brakes are applied. Working front and rear brakes are also a necessity.
Be sure to check with your state regarding specific electric scooter riding laws, especially for slower, lightweight models that are designed for children. These models often have a top speed of ten to twelve miles an hour, however, most states will usually enforce the helmet law for any type of electric bike or scooter.