How to scoot safely in 2021
E-scooters are set to take this year by storm, but there are a few health and safety dos and don’ts you should know before you get scooting...
14 Jan 2021
Here at TechTalk, we love e-scooters, and we’re not the only ones. Across the UK, they’re becoming more and more popular. Research has shown that 1 in 10 Brits were gifted an e-scooter over Christmas, so we can expect to see them a whole lot more.
However, the current laws around e-scooters are a little confusing, with many Brits unsure about where you’re legally permitted to use them, or if there is even a speed limit. So, we’ve enlisted Radio 1 legend and scooter sage Matt Edmonson to show you how, when and where to safely get a scoot on:
Don't double up
E-scooters aren’t made for two people, no matter if you’re both standing on the board or your friend’s in the front basket ET-style. It’s extremely unsafe, puts pressure on the motor and could throw you off balance as you ride. If you’re keen to show off your new scooter to mates, don’t share the journey, take it in turns!
Don’t ride on pavements
Whether you’re in an e-scooter trial area or not, please, please, do not ride your e-scooter on the pavement. It’s dangerous to pedestrians, especially along narrow walkways, and illegal across the UK. Privately owned scooters are only allowed to be used on private land, so unless you’re using a rental scooter, please don’t head out on the road either.
And one more thing: don’t wear headphones – you need to hear what’s going on around you to keep alert.
Don’t drink and scoot
We mean this in every possible way. Don’t drink alcohol before you hop on your e-scooter, and don’t attempt to ride one-handed while drinking at the same time. It’s vital that all your attention is focused on the ride, and any potential hazards along the way. Alcohol slows down your reactions, putting you and other road users in danger. And if you’re really that thirsty while riding, slow down, hop off and grab a drink before restarting your journey. Don’t try doing it all at once.
Give extra space
Don’t try scooting through narrow gaps. It may look impressive, but all it takes is one ding of a parked car or a single accident and you could injure yourself, injure others or cause damage to others’ property. Always check that you’ve got the space to manoeuvre safely.
Carrying heavy stuff while scooting can be as dangerous as having a second person on board. If there’s no way to safely carry your stuff while using the scooter, don’t. And if it’s only a rucksack, make sure it’s not too heavy, and that the contents are packed evenly – that should make left and right turns feel a lot more natural and balanced.
Check your battery
Before you set out on long rides, make sure you’ve got enough battery to get you to your destination. It’s not fun when the battery cuts out mid-way, and you’ll either have to find a charging point and wait for your e-scooter to power up, or worse, carry it home. Ouch.
Those are the ins and outs of scooting in 2021. Have fun and stay safe!