Electric scooters have become increasingly popular in recent years, as they provide a convenient and eco-friendly way to commute short distances. However, for beginners, riding an electric scooter can seem intimidating. To help you get started, here are 10 beginner tips on how to ride an electric scooter:
Wear a helmet
Wearing a helmet is one of the most important safety measures you can take when riding an electric scooter. Helmets are designed to protect your head in case of a fall or an accident, which can prevent serious injuries and even save your life.
When choosing a helmet, make sure it meets safety standards such as the DOT (Department of Transportation) or Snell Memorial Foundation certification. A properly fitting helmet should be snug but not too tight, and it should cover your forehead and the back of your head.
It’s important to wear your helmet correctly, with the chinstrap fastened securely to keep the helmet in place. Wearing your helmet at the back of your head or leaving the chinstrap loose can significantly reduce its effectiveness in case of an impact.
Remember that even if you are an experienced rider or riding at low speeds, accidents can still happen. A helmet can protect you from serious head injuries, so never skip this crucial safety measure. Additionally, consider wearing other protective gear such as knee and elbow pads, especially if you are new to riding or planning to ride at higher speeds.
Familiarize yourself with the controls
Familiarizing yourself with the controls of your electric scooter is crucial before you start riding. This will help you to gain confidence and control over the scooter. Most electric scooters have similar controls, such as a throttle, brake, and display panel.
The throttle is usually located on the right handlebar, and it’s used to accelerate the scooter. It works like a motorcycle’s throttle, where you turn it to increase speed. The brake, on the other hand, is located on the left handlebar, and it’s used to slow down or stop the scooter. Most electric scooters have both hand brakes and foot brakes. The display panel is located on the handlebar stem, and it shows important information such as speed, battery level, and distance traveled.
Before you start riding, take some time to get familiar with the controls of your electric scooter. Read the owner’s manual, and learn how to operate the throttle and brake smoothly. You should also learn how to adjust the speed and use the brake to slow down or stop the scooter.
Starting slowly can help you develop your skills and build your confidence as a rider. It’s a good idea to start by practicing in an open area, such as a parking lot, where you can ride at a comfortable pace without worrying about traffic or other obstacles.
When starting, use the throttle gently and gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable with the scooter. Avoid sudden movements, as these can cause the scooter to wobble or lose balance.
Starting slowly also gives you the opportunity to get a feel for the brakes and how quickly you can slow down or come to a stop. Understanding how the brakes work and how long it takes to stop can help you avoid accidents and collisions.
Find a flat, open space
Finding a flat, open space is one of the most important tips for beginners who are learning how to ride an electric scooter. Riding an electric scooter for the first time can be challenging, especially when it comes to maintaining balance and control. That’s why finding a flat, open space is crucial, as it provides a safe environment for beginners to practice their skills without worrying about potential hazards or obstacles.
When we say “flat,” we mean a surface that is level, with no incline or decline. A flat surface will help you get comfortable with the scooter’s handling, and you can focus on controlling the speed, braking, and turning without worrying about maintaining balance on a slope.
Also see: How to Teach Your Child to Ride a Scooter
An open space is equally important as it provides enough room for beginners to ride without getting into other people’s way or colliding with any obstacles such as rocks, trees, or parked cars. A large, open area like a parking lot, a field or an empty road can provide enough space to practice various maneuvers such as braking, turning, and accelerating.
Furthermore, riding in a flat, open space allows beginners to get used to the scooter’s acceleration and speed gradually. Starting slowly and gradually increasing the speed can help you avoid accidents or losing control of the scooter. As you become more comfortable with the scooter’s handling, you can start to increase your speed and challenge yourself with more complex maneuvers.
Keep your posture upright
Keeping your posture upright when riding an electric scooter is important for several reasons. Firstly, it allows you to maintain better control over the scooter. By keeping your back straight and your hands firmly on the handlebars, you are better able to steer and balance the scooter. This is especially important when riding over uneven surfaces, as it helps you to absorb any bumps or shocks.
Secondly, an upright posture helps you to maintain good visibility of the road ahead. When you are hunched over or leaning forward, your field of vision is reduced, making it harder to see what’s coming up ahead. By sitting up straight, you can see further ahead and better anticipate any obstacles or hazards on the road.
When riding an electric scooter, it’s essential to stay alert at all times. This means keeping your eyes and ears open, scanning your surroundings for potential hazards, and being prepared to react quickly if necessary.
Staying alert involves being aware of your environment and anticipating any potential dangers. This can include watching out for pedestrians, other vehicles, and obstacles on the road. It’s also important to be mindful of your speed and to slow down if necessary to avoid collisions.
Being alert also means being prepared to react quickly. If a pedestrian suddenly steps into your path or a car makes an unexpected turn, you need to be ready to brake or swerve to avoid an accident. This requires quick reflexes and the ability to make split-second decisions.
Use hand signals
Using hand signals is an essential part of safe electric scooter riding, as it helps to communicate your intentions to other road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. Proper use of hand signals can help to prevent accidents, avoid confusion, and ensure that you have a safe and comfortable ride.
When making a turn, always use your left or right arm to signal in the direction you’re going. Extend your arm out at a 90-degree angle to your body, with your hand pointing in the direction you want to turn. This is particularly important when making a turn at an intersection, as it will alert other road users to your intentions and prevent collisions.
Obey traffic rules
Follow all traffic rules and regulations when riding your electric scooter. This includes staying in designated bike lanes and avoiding riding on sidewalks.
Be aware of the weather
Take weather conditions into consideration when riding your electric scooter. Avoid riding in heavy rain, snow, or ice.
Practice makes perfect
Finally, the key to becoming a confident and safe electric scooter rider is to practice regularly. The more you ride, the more comfortable and confident you will become.
In conclusion, riding an electric scooter can be a fun and efficient way to get around, but safety should always be a top priority. By following these beginner tips, you can start enjoying the benefits of electric scooter commuting while staying safe on the road.