There's nothing like riding an electric scooter. You'll feel the wind on your face and have absolute freedom as you weave through traffic and shave heaps of time off your journey.
These fantastic modes of transportation have so many benefits, but when the sun starts beating down in summer, it's essential to take certain precautions to stay cool and hydrated.
Dehydration can be life-threatening, but following our top tips for staying cool while using an electric scooter ensures you can get the most out of your ride and stay safe.
Let's get straight to it.
The risks of using e-scooters in such hot weather
E-scooters offer convenience and affordability, which is why they're so popular for commuting and urban riding. As with all forms of transportation, there are things you need to be aware of and watch out for in the summer season.
Failing to look after yourself in high temperatures could have numerous consequences. Let's take a look at them.
One of the risks of using electric scooters in the summer is exposure to extreme temperatures. High temperatures are common in the USA, with national yearly average highs around 71.9 °F (Current Results).
However, in some states, the temperature gets much higher. Florida, Texas, and Louisiana often experience temperatures in the 80s, and California often experiences summer temperatures above 80°F on hot days.
Prolonged exposure to heat can lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion, or even heatstroke for riders, especially if they're not adequately hydrated.
If the body temperature rises to 104 °F, heat stroke can be life-threatening, so staying cool is essential.
Higher risk of accidents
Hydration is central to general concentration, and studies prove how dangerous dehydration can be. According to The Brain and Spine Institute, just 1% dehydration can decrease a person's cognitive abilities by 5%.
If you're riding an e-scooter and don't drink enough water, you could put yourself - and others at risk of accidents. All it takes is a minor lapse in attention, and the CDC estimates that nine people are killed daily due to distracted driving.
Using e-scooters on the road exposes you to the same threats as a car or electric bicycle, so staying hydrated is a luxury.
Our top tips for surviving those hot rides
There are some risks associated with riding an electric scooter on a hot day, but the vital thing to remember is taking precautions helps. Following these tips will keep you safe on the road and prevent any heat-related symptoms.
Plan your ride
You might find it easier to take another route with more shade, so check before setting off. Choosing roads or bike paths with shaded areas or tree-lined streets will provide some relief from the sun.
Wherever possible, you should also avoid routes exposed to direct sunlight for long periods, as this can increase the risk of heat exhaustion.
Wear appropriate clothing
Safety will always come first with electric scooters, and you should never neglect your responsibilities as a rider. Wearing a helmet should never be a choice, but a commitment and the right e-scooter helmet will keep you safe without weighing you down.
You should also consider clothing options and opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics such as cotton or moisture-wicking materials that allow sweat to evaporate quickly.
Consider wearing loose-fitting clothes that promote airflow and help regulate body temperature.
Use knee and elbow pads
Knee and elbow pads protect your body and prevent serious injuries, so it's always a good idea to use them, even in extreme heat. There are plenty of lightweight options available, and protective gear doesn't need to be a compromise.
Stay hydrated in extreme heat
Hydration is the most important thing when you're riding in extreme heat. While the average recommended water intake is two liters daily in typical weather, that goes up to three liters during the summer.
Drink plenty of water
Always carry a water bottle and drink regularly throughout your ride, ensuring you hydrate before, during, and after your journey. Ice water can cool you down and replenish the fluids your body loses through sweating.
Use a hydration pack
If you're planning a longer ride, consider using a hydration backpack to ensure a constant water supply. These backpacks contain a water bladder that allows you to drink on the go without using your hands.
However, they are pretty heavy, and some people might find them too much for general commuting as they're primarily for hikers.
Use sports drinks
Sports drinks can be highly effective in preventing dehydration because they contain electrolytes that give your body energy. Remember, not all energy drinks are made the same, so choose one with low sugar.
It's also a good idea to carry energy bars with you for extra energy.
Protect yourself from the sun
Shielding yourself from the sun's harmful rays is essential to prevent sunburn and heat-related issues. As you'll wear a helmet, your head and face should receive adequate protection from the sun, but you'll also need to think about the rest of your body.
Apply sunscreen with a high SPF rating on exposed areas of your skin, such as your face, arms, and legs. Additionally, consider wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce glare while riding.
Take regular breaks
When the heat is intense, it's essential to take regular breaks to cool down and rest. Find shaded areas or air-conditioned spots along your route where you can take short breaks to lower your body temperature.
Use these breaks to rehydrate and give yourself a chance to recover from the heat. If you begin to feel dizzy or your body overheats, taking even a few minutes can make a huge difference and protect you from dehydration.
Utilize cooling accessories
Cooling accessories help people maintain their body temperature when riding an e-scooter, and various forms are available. You can also make them from general clothing items if you want to save money.
For example, instead of buying a cooling neck wrap, why not dip a bandana in water and wrap it around you to keep cool? There are also handlebar-mounted fans but check with your state's laws, as some fans could cause obstructions.
Be mindful of heat-related illnesses
Hot weather can increase the risk of heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Unfortunately, these often develop quickly with little warning, so be aware of the signs and symptoms, including:
- Rapid heartbeat
If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Maintain your electric scooter
Last but not least, perform proper maintenance of your electric scooter. It won't prevent dehydration, but taking care of the scooter ensures a safe and smooth ride.
Check the tire regularly, as heat can cause the air inside the tires to expand. You should also examine the brakes and check they're in full working condition.
Perhaps most importantly, choose an electric scooter that won't let you down and has excellent reviews. There are so many models out there, but investing in a top-rated scooter often costs the big bucks.
Unagi recently unleashed an all-access scooter subscription plan, which allows you to pay for your scooter in monthly installments instead of in one go. Better still, insurance and services are included in the subscription.
The bottom line
Riding an electric scooter in hot weather can be an enjoyable experience if you take the necessary precautions. The keys to staying safe are:
- Planning your route
- Wearing appropriate clothing
- Stay hydrated
- Protecting yourself from the sun
- Taking regular breaks
If you plan to ride in summer, try to avoid the hottest part of the day and remember that early morning is cooler than the afternoon, so you'll want to prepare for those rides too.
Most importantly, enjoy yourself. Scooters continue to grow in popularity, so there's never been a better time to invest in one and enjoy their sheer convenience.
Can I ride an electric scooter in extremely hot weather?
Yes, you can ride an electric scooter in hot weather if you take precautions to stay cool and hydrated. If you feel dizzy at any time, it's best to stop riding and rest.
How often should I drink water while riding an electric scooter in hot weather?
You should aim to drink water every 15-20 minutes, as it ensures you stay hydrated while riding in hot weather.
Can I wear shorts and a T-shirt while riding an electric scooter in hot weather?
Yes, wearing lightweight and breathable clothing like shorts and a T-shirt is suitable for riding in hot weather.
Just make sure to protect exposed skin with sunscreen to avoid skin cancer. Also, if you wear light clothing, use elbow and knee pads instead of a full-on riding jacket.
What are the signs of heat exhaustion or heatstroke?
Signs of heat exhaustion or heatstroke include dizziness, nausea, rapid heartbeat, confusion, and fainting. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek shade and rest immediately.