Scooters are all the rage and for good reason. They’re fun, fast, and we're starting to see them nearly everywhere. Being as fun as they are, you may have made the decision to buy one for the family. It’s now time for the first ride on the new electric scooter, but wait! Have you walked your kids through the importance of scooter safety? Do they know the rules to keep them out of danger? Electric scooters can travel up to 25 kmh (or more), and when navigating different roads and tracks can become fast and dangerous.
Before your child steps foot on the scooter, it’s important they know the electric scooter safety rules. Go over the rules before they take their first ride. Let them know what happens if the rules are broken and reiterate why they’re important. Electric scooter safety is necessary because although a scooter is considered a toy, it’s also a machine that must be handled with care. Sometimes it’s difficult for kids to understand the difference, so be clear about what is and isn’t allowed before they start their scooter adventures. Here are a few guidelines for kids to abide by to keep them safe when out scooting around.
RULE #1: RIDE SOLO
Doubling up is a no-no; opt for riding solo. While it may seem fun to have a friend or sibling hop on, it’s dangerous because it throws off the balance of the scooter. Many electric scooters are only built to handle one rider at a time. If multiple kids want to ride, set a time limit so they can take turns being on the scooter by themselves. If you find several members in your family want extra time on the scooter, think about buying another one to make it more of a group activity. A scooter gang of solo riders is the way to go.
Also, don’t let anyone hop onto the scooter while it’s in motion. Refrain from having anyone on the front or back while another person is riding. Even if the scooter comes with a seat, it’s still not safe to have more than one person riding at a time. Anyone who has had a bicycle accident from letting someone sit on the handlebar or ride on the back tyres knows the pain that’s felt when you go head-over-heels onto the footpath or gravel. Don’t let the same bike or scooter injuries happen to your kids.
When there is more than one person affecting the steering, focus, and direction the scooter is going, it’s a recipe for disaster. Reaction times are slower when you’re considering both the needs of yourself and the other person riding with you. In order to follow scooter safety, make it rider, party of one.
RULE #2: WEAR A HELMET
It's simple, wear a helmet.
Helmets are key because like with any other type of moving vehicle, there’s always the chance for a collision. To support the head and neck should a crash occur, make sure your riders wear their helmets at all times. Consider it a non-negotiable for anyone on a scooter.
The same policy goes for knee pads and elbow pads if you think that’s necessary for your child. For those navigating a scooter for the first time, it’s a good idea to add extra safety gear as a requirement to protect from any falls. A long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and gloves are recommended. Riders should also wear athletic shoes (lace-up shoes with rubber soles) and keep shoelaces tied and out of the wheels, motor, and drive system. Never ride barefoot or in sandals. For more experienced riders, it’s not likely they’ll fall off the scooter and land on the ground—so a helmet should suffice. When in doubt, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Children are fearless when it comes to anything on wheels, so give them the protective gear they need to have fun while still playing it safe.
RULE #3: CLEAR THE AREA
It’s easier to use an electric scooter when there’s a clear path. Whether that’s down a driveway, on a private road, or in a vacant parking lot, make sure there’s nothing big blocking the road as much as you can. The electric scooter is intended for use on flat, dry surfaces, such as the footpath/road or level ground, without loose debris, such as sand, leaves, rocks, or gravel. Wet, slick, bumpy, uneven or rough surfaces may impair traction and contribute to possible accidents.
It’s not always possible to control the surroundings, but first-time riders should practice closer to home before they feel comfortable venturing out further. Even when they have their scooter steering down pat, there are still plenty of things that can block a pathway: neighborhood animals jetting out unexpectedly, pedestrians or other riders not paying attention to where they’re going, and weather conditions that could make sidewalks and streets slippery.
It makes it more fun for riders to have an open area where they can scoot as they please without worrying about anything getting in the way. Head to a nearby park or area where scooters are allowed. There are some areas where they aren’t permitted, so make sure you’re out of the danger zone before forging ahead. When sticking close to home, clear the footpatg of big branches and tell your kids to be alert of other roadblocks. The smoother the path, the better the ride.
RULE #4: DON’T USE YOUR PHONE
Steering an electric scooter should have the same concentration as driving a car. Although it doesn’t go as fast as a car nor require a driver’s license, it’s equally as important to focus on steering while speeding along on a scooter. Part of this focus means no texting. It only takes a second for an accident to happen, and it’s not worth responding to a text or taking a selfie while in motion.
The rule is eyes on the road with no exceptions. Tell your kids to get to a stopping point before pulling out their phone. They should always have both hands on the handles and eyes straight ahead. No calling, no texting, or other use of the phone if they’re steering a scooter.
RULE #5: SET THE SCOOTER UPRIGHT
Keep everyone safe and the scooter in good condition by making sure to prop it upright in a place out of the way from traffic of all kinds. This prevents accidents and will keep the ride running as long as possible. Depending on the style and color of the scooter, it can blend into the yard easier than you think when someone isn’t expecting to see it. By having it upright, it serves as a sign of caution so people can steer clear of running into it or knocking it over.
Nothing will cause more chaos than a scooter that’s been run over by a vehicle or tripped over by a parent who is walking through the yard in the dark. Additionally, in order to maintain proper “scooter etiquette,” do not fling the scooter to the ground. Scooters are durable, but the better they are maintained, the longer they’ll last. Electric scooter rules aren’t just about protecting the people riding but everyone else that may come in contact with the scooter as well. Let everyone see when it’s not in use by standing it up straight.
RULE #6: KEEP SCOOTERS OUT OF THE RAIN
Another reason to keep scooters properly stored is to prevent damage from rain, hail, and the rest of Mother Nature’s elements. The same goes for running the scooter through muddy puddles or unpaved surfaces. Just don’t do it. It can reduce tire traction and create slippery situations even if the roads aren’t wet. Over time, this will cause built up wear and tear on the scooter, prompting the need for a replacement sooner rather than later.
Electric scooters should last years without the need for repair or maintenance. However, they are still pieces of equipment that are only as good as the people who take care of them. Instill in your kids the importance of taking care of their toys. Sure, it’ll take more than a rain shower to ruin a scooter, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be tested time and time again. Don’t allow scooter riding in wet or icy weather and never immerse the scooter in water, as electrical and drive components could be damaged by water or create other possibly unsafe conditions. Store them in the shed or garage and keep them as clean as possible to prevent damage.
RULE #7: FOLLOW REGULAR ROAD SAFETY
When possible, avoid busy areas. Too much traffic causes a distraction. A vehicle will easily overcome an electric scooter, especially if neither party is paying attention. Choose open spaces where there is plenty of room for a scooter to roam.
This type of setup is especially important for younger children who are not as experienced to pay attention to their surroundings or know all road safety. Remind them to look both ways when crossing the street and to use the crosswalk at all times. It’s all too easy for them to want to zip out into the open without regard for what or who is in their path. Reduce the risk of an accident by picking a place where they have more space and freedom to zig-zag as they please.
Each state in Australia has different rules for e-Scooter riding, here are some helpful links:
RULE #8: START SLOWLY
The need for speed is what exhilarates young riders. Just because a scooter is capable of fast speeds doesn’t mean it should always be at the maximum. If it’s your child’s first time to ride, test their judgment when assessing speeds. Going too fast can cause panic and they’ll steer out of control, or, it can make them reckless if they’re not sure where they’re going. It’s better to start slowly so they can get used to applying the brake when needed. It also helps to become used to the balance of the scooter. An electric scooter is not a hard thing to figure out, but it does take some getting used to before going full speed.
Once your child becomes more confident and comfortable riding the scooter at a slow speed, then the speeds can increase. The gradual shift up to this point will help when there are faced with unpredictable events that could throw them off. The top speed of a scooter can be affected by conditions, such as the rider’s weight, inclines, and battery charge level. Avoid excessive speeds that can be associated with downhill rides. Even if your child is following the road rules and doing everything right, it’s not guaranteed that other scooter riders are taking the same consideration. Getting up to a faster speed is something that will come with time and practice. In the beginning, go slow.
NO ONE RIDES WITHOUT THE RULES
Scooter safety tips and rules are important to keep everyone happy and secure. Implement these immediately and adhere to what’s allowed. Kids will know the boundaries of what they can and can’t do right off the bat and will help form good habits. While riding a scooter is a toy and entertaining to play with, it still comes with a big responsibility that’s important for a child to learn. It will teach them lessons for when they graduate to bigger “toys” and vehicles like cars and motorcycles. Whether you are using your Razor as a commuter scooter or gifting it to a child for a fun experience, it’s important to be mindful of the safety precautions.
In addition to their own well-being, the rules are in place so that they lookout for others. Read through the rules with your kids. Ask them if they understand and let them know why it’s essential they follow them every time they’re on their scooter. The more you instill in them what’s needed to keep them secure, the better it is for everyone involved. Once you’ve got the safety solidified, then it’s nothing but smooth scooting ahead.