Check our Razor A5 Lux Scooter review, if you want to find more about kick scooters. Riding an electric scooter is fairly easy, but to do that you need to practice a bit. Also, make sure to know the laws of your state and city, and always pay attention to and respect other traffic participants.
How to ride your scooter for the first time
Some of us are afraid when stepping for the first time on a new vehicle, and that’s the same with electric scooters. But don’t worry, riding one isn’t hard; you just need to know some basic things. To start off, place your scooter with the wheels on the ground and try to find a flat and smooth surface, with plenty of space.
Unlock it by turning the key or activating the switch, depending on the model. There are scooters with no locking system, so if yours doesn’t have such a feature don’t worry. Don’t forget to pull the kickstand up; most people forget about that in their first runs.
Turn the scooter on by pressing the corresponding button. Better electric scooters have an LED display on which you can see all the needed details, and you can see there everything you want to know about your ride. Look at the display to check if there are any issues like the battery being too low, before starting.
Next, look for the throttle and the hand brakes. Remember that they are both sensitive and you will have to get used to how they work with time. Don’t use them with too much force, especially the brake, unless you need to stop at once. Also, don’t try to hit the acceleration too fast or you might fall off. Be gentle when you start.
Check if there are any foot brakes too. These are the ones that you should mainly use for slowing down or for casual stops. The throttle should be positioned on the right handlebar. When you’re comfortable standing or sitting on your electric scooter, you can try testing the throttle, again, gently. Last but not least, put on the safety gear and you’re ready to go.
Safety is the most important thing, especially when you’re a beginner and you’re unsure how scooters work. Most electric scooters can’t handle the weight of more than one person, and that’s why you should always ride your scooter alone. Otherwise, it will either not move, or you risk falling off.
Electric scooters aren’t made for stunts, they’re built to offer comfortable rides, so don’t try that with them. Stick with professional kickscooters for that. E-scooters are lightweight and their handlebars and deck aren’t made to support heavy pressure.
When riding your scooter, don’t ask one of your friends to push you from the back while you’re riding, even if you’re going at low speeds. This creates the chance of you losing your balance, or being unable to brake. Get to know your scooter well and soon enough you will become a good rider.
Keep in mind that rainy seasons are dangerous for electric scooters. That’s not because their circuitry can get damaged (that shouldn’t happen), but because the roads get slippery and the small scooter wheels aren’t made to cope well with roads like that. That is why it’s better to wear some extra protective gear during rainy days. Also, make sure to check the tires before every ride.
Speaking about bad weather, try to keep the screen or the visor of your scooter clean at all times, so you can see everything you need to see. Keep focused, look at the road and keep a constant safe speed. Don’t try to get through puddles, as you don’t know how deep they are.
Respect the law and others in traffic
Studies show that about 10% of those injured in traffic when an electric-scooter is involved are pedestrians. As such, it’s important to consider that as a scooter rider, you need to pay constant attention to pedestrians and show some empathy to them.
Riding on sidewalks is usually forbidden, but some states allow it. Knowing your local laws is always a must. Try to always yield to pedestrians, and if you can’t, make sure they understand that. Furthermore, ride with the traffic as much as possible, not against it. Not only this will help you get faster to the destination, but it will also make things simpler and safer for you.
Ensure that you respect and follow the traffic signs, the signals, and the lane markings. Check your state and city laws to make sure how and where you’re allowed to ride your scooter. Don’t forget that the state can allow scooters but the city may not.
Before you ride a scooter, or even better, before you buy it, you need to find the answer to a number of questions. The first of them is if you’re allowed to ride scooters and if so if you can do it with or without a driving license. Furthermore, check if you can ride the scooter on bike lanes, or on sidewalks.
Check if your local laws allow you to cross at intersections or if you’re allowed to join the traffic. It’s best if you’re aware of all of these things before you start riding.
Another good idea is to get yourself used to utilizing hand signals in traffic. As an electric-scooter rider, you’re like a bicyclist, and being aware of your surroundings is important. But others should be aware of your presence and actions too. If you don’t have good electronic turn signals, you should use your hands to show where you want to go.
Hand signals are easy to execute and to learn. To show that you want to stop you extend your left arm to your side and bend it down from the elbow. To show that you want to go left, just extend your left arm to your left side, basically pointing your direction. For right, the same thing, but with the right hand extended to your right.
In some places, people show that they want to take a turn by raising the hand in that direction and bending it upwards from the elbow. When turning, never do it before checking the area you want to turn to, and your behind. Watch your back and see if there is anybody that comes from behind.
Operating a scooter with only one hand can be difficult and dangerous, that’s why you should only do it briefly while you show your intended direction.
Tips for a better ride
Always check the brakes
When riding your scooter you should be mainly using your foot brake, so before you start your ride, make sure that everything is in good shape, so you don’t have any unpleasant surprises on the way. Using the back brakes is recommended, especially in rainy seasons where the front tire can slip if it suddenly stops due to a brake.
Another thing to consider about brakes is that they should be actioned slowly. The electric scooter is not like a bike, where your center of gravity lies lower and gives you more balance. With the scooter, you stand upright, and once you brake, all the momentum you had will push you forward, due to inertia.
Although it doesn’t always look great, wearing a helmet is one of the most important things when riding something like an electric scooter. Nowadays, designs have become more attractive and the helmets are more comfortable, so you should give them a try. In certain states and cities wearing a helmet is mandatory, so make sure to wear one.
Don’t wear headphones
In traffic, you need to pay attention to everything that is around you, and you can’t always do that just based on what you see. Cars are fast and you rarely see them before it’s too late, but you can hear them. So to make sure you can hear well, don’t use headphones.