Are electric scooters easy to ride?

Daniel Foley
Written By: Daniel Foley
Published on: 9/21/2022

So, you're thinking about joining the electric scooter revolution, huh? You've seen those sleek and stylish scooters zipping around town, effortlessly gliding through traffic, and you can't help but wonder: Are electric scooters easy to ride?

Well, my friend, you've come to the right place. In this article, we're going to take a deep dive into the world of electric scooters and uncover just how easy and exciting they can be. Get ready to strap on your helmet and hop on board.

What's the deal with electric scooters?

Remember the first time you rode your bike without the training wheels? It probably took a while to build up to that. How about that day you finally passed your driving test? That usually takes months of practice and lessons.

It's easy to see why some people think e-scooters require an intensive learning curve. After all, they're a form of transportation. Here's the thing; e-scooters are surprisingly easy to use, and most newbies can get to grips with them in around half an hour.

However, there's a difference between knowing how to use your scooter and learning how to ride an electric scooter safely on public roads.

To ensure you have the best experience riding electric scooters, it's crucial to understand how to use your chosen model properly and avoid incidents when using roads or bike lanes.

Getting to grips with your electric scooter

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First things first, it's time to officially introduce yourself to the e-scooter and get to grips with it. While all scooters have the same premise, different designs and riding modes mean anyone should read through their user manual and learn about their chosen model.

Here are some top tips for getting to know your scooter.

Understand the components

All e-scooters have basic components, including a deck, handlebars, console, and wheels. Some might also offer various riding modes and have instructions on charging the scooter. Understanding how to operate the basic functions ensures you have more control when you do start riding.

Power up the scooter

Depending on the manufacturer, the first step to powering up an electric scooter is to turn the power on using the button, which is usually on the handlebars or console. Ensure you do this in a safe place with no obstructions to prevent an injury.

Your garden or driveway are both great places to start with. Learning how to stand on the e-scooter deck is the next step and one of the most important.

Step onto the deck with one foot and leave the other on the ground—which foot you decide to put where is a matter of preference, but most people put their weak legs on the deck. Then, use the foot on the ground to push off (as you would with a traditional kick scooter) and hold the handlebars.

Practice moving

Push the accelerator towards your body to increase your speed, but remember to take it slow at first. Accelerating too quickly can make the scooter jump forward, so keep to short distances and move slowly until you're used to switching your speed.

Control is the most important thing at this stage, and scooters have speed limits, so you'll need to learn to maintain a consistent speed in certain areas if you plan to take it on public roads.

Turning and stopping

Turning an electric scooter involves leaning slightly in the direction you'd like to go and letting the scooter do the rest of the work.

To stop, let the electric scooter roll slowly and pull gently on the handbrake (if you have one), or push gently on the rear brake using your foot (if you have a back break). If the scooter has various speed settings, start in the slowest mode and keep at low speeds while you get accustomed to the accelerator and the brakes.

Getting out and about

Most electric scooter riders will agree that there's nothing better than taking to the roads. Imagine feeling the wind in your face and cruising through traffic jams effortlessly as you shave time off of any journey and can enjoy absolute freedom.

Taking to the roads might seem daunting initially, but as long as you know your responsibilities and take it slow, the world is your oyster.

Ready to take your scooter riding up a notch? Here's how to make getting out and about a fun-filled experience.

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Find and maintain balance

Finding and maintaining your balance is the key to a smooth scooter ride. Scooters aren't like bicycles, and you won't fall off if you're not constantly moving, but balance is still an integral part of any safe journey.

With a wide base and intelligent engineering, electric scooters provide excellent stability, so while it can take a few seconds to get your bearings, you'll cruise with confidence soon enough.

Remember, a steady stance and relaxed posture are the secrets to mastering your balance on an electric scooter and avoiding accidents.

Mastering acceleration

So, you've mastered the basics, and now it's time to kick things into higher gear. The great thing about e-scooters is they offer seamless acceleration and respond to your every move. With a gentle push of the throttle, you'll experience a surge of power that propels you forward.

Don't worry; modern electric scooters come with different speed modes, allowing you to adjust your acceleration to match your comfort level. For example, if you're new to e-scooters, you'll want to choose the least intense mode.

Riding on public roads often means you need to keep up with traffic, so some people use a faster mode - depending on each state's laws.

Take it slow at first, but remember there's always the option to increase your speed as and when needed.

Braking smoothly

You've already learned how to brake when moving slowly, but you need to know how to stop safely when traveling at speed. There's nothing like zipping through the streets, but failing to brake properly could cause serious accidents.

Electric scooters have reliable braking systems that ensure your safety. Whether it's a regenerative brake or a disc brake, you can trust that your scooter will respond promptly and smoothly with a gentle squeeze of the brake lever.

However, you must also ensure your scooter has time and room to stop effectively. An interesting study published by IIHS shows that most scooter injuries happen on sidewalks, and the main reason for this is that riders don't have room to avoid obstacles and brake before colliding with a person or object.

So go ahead, and embrace the exhilaration but steer clear of sidewalks.

Glide, don't slide

Navigating the urban jungle is a breeze on an electric scooter. The steering is incredibly responsive, allowing you to maneuver around corners and obstacles gracefully—remember that your handlebar is your best friend when it comes to turning.

Gently lean in the direction you want to go, and let the scooter effortlessly follow your lead. The idea is to glide around corners instead of turning abruptly and sliding everywhere.

Using your electric scooter safely

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Electric scooters are machines, and they require your operation to move around. Some people don't take responsibility for their actions on the road, which is when accidents happen. Luckily, serious injuries are rare when you know how to navigate the roads properly and protect yourself.

Let's look at how to use your scooter safely on the road.

Know your responsibilities

As a general rule, ride in the street, not on the sidewalk. In most states (and even other countries), riding an electric scooter on sidewalks or pedestrian paths is illegal and dangerous for others. If your city permits e-scooters, stick to the street and follow all traffic laws for cars.

E-scooters can move at high speeds, and the top speed for each model will vary. You can move around at great speeds while making minimal noise, which can make you hard to notice sometimes for pedestrians crossing the road.

So if you want to ride your electric scooter safely, observe speed limits for the safety of yourself and others on the roads and stay up to date with electric scooter laws for your state.

Wear a helmet

Research published by BMJ states that scooter riders are more at risk of serious injuries when they don't wear a helmet. There's no getting around that helmets can prevent permanent brain damage and even death - so why don't people wear them?

Some don't like the idea of cruising around in a helmet, and others might think they're unnecessary as their state hasn't made them mandatory.

Helmets should never be a choice, and today's modern helmets are nothing like the cringe-worthy ones your parents made you wear on your bike. Grab a sleek, stylish helmet and cruise around, knowing your head is safe.

Use other protective gear

You should also wear protective gear to ensure you keep the rest of your body safe. Knee and elbow pads can prevent fractures, while vests are also an excellent option for giving the ribs extra padding.

There's so much safety gear to choose between, but picking the best options for your needs will protect your body and give you peace of mind.

Know your limits

OK, so you can prepare yourself and wear safety gear - but that doesn't mean you should throw caution to the wind and hop on your e-scooter in heavy rain or snow. Stay off slippery surfaces like wet grass when possible—you don't want your wheels spinning out from under you.

Even wet roads can be tricky to navigate until you're a confident rider, so just be aware of your surroundings and know the route dry before you try it wet.

Most e-scooter decks will have some form of grip on them to help you maintain balance and stance, but it's advisable to wear comfortable, tight-fitting trainers with a grip on, too, until you get the hang of it.

Top tips to prevent e-scooter accidents

So, now we've covered the basics of electric scooters and safety elements; it's time to look at how you can enjoy your ride without worrying about accidents. These tips should help you enjoy the experience and make each trip an absolute breeze.

Choose a suitable scooter

Are you a commuter/city slicker or an adrenaline junkie? Not all scooters are made equal, and the model you choose should serve a distinct purpose. For example, you don't want to take a commuter scooter off-road because they're not made for rough terrain.

In contrast, an off-road scooter is too powerful for city riding and could lead to accidents. Budget is also an important factor, but some brands offer premium scooters on a subscription basis.

Instead of buying a premium Unagi scooter outright, you can take advantage of an all-access subscription for a small monthly price. With that, you get access to insurance, free maintenance checks, and an ultra-stylish way to cruise to the office.

Maintenance is everything

A little maintenance goes a long way to keep your electric scooter in top-notch condition. Regularly inspect your scooter for tire pressure, tread wear, and any signs of damage.

Keep the brakes in check, ensure the lights are working, and give your scooter a clean now and then. Showing your scooter a little TLC rewards you with endless adventures.

Embrace the learning curve

The great thing about electric scooters is how user-friendly they are, and anyone can go from zero to city cruising hero in a matter of weeks. Take some time to get used to the different controls and take them slowly before tackling busy routes.

Remember, practice makes perfect, and the benefits of e-scooters far outweigh any initial worries inexperienced riders might have.

Ready to ride your e-scooter?

Electric scooters are one of the easiest transportation modes to ride, and anyone can get started. With their portability, intuitive design, and user-friendly features, these eco-friendly machines are paving the way for a greener - and more accessible - future.

Remember, most e-scooter accidents happen due to rider error, so take it slow and don't hit the road until you feel safe. You don't need to wear all the safety gear, but helmets should always be a no-brainer.

Most importantly, enjoy the experience. Scooters give you a new lease on life and make it easier to enjoy everything your city offers, so get your dream scooter today, and you'll be out and about in no time.

FAQs

Are electric scooters suitable for all ages?

Because of their small size, most electric scooters are suitable for older children and adults, but each state has laws on who can use e-scooters. Ensure you check the legal minimum age for scooter riding and follow the regulations.

How long does it take to learn to ride an electric scooter?

The learning curve for riding an electric scooter varies from person to person. Some individuals may feel comfortable after just a few minutes, while others might take longer to build their confidence. The key is to start slow, practice in a safe environment, and gradually increase your comfort level. Choose a scooter with sufficient power and torque to tackle the specific hills you'll encounter in your area.

How fast can electric scooters go?

Electric scooters have varying top speeds depending on the model and local regulations. Some scooters can reach 15 to 20 mph (24 to 32 km/h), while others may have higher or lower speed limits. Always ride responsibly and adhere to the speed limits in your area.


Daniel Foley
Daniel Foley

Daniel tests all the latest e-scooters and currently enjoys the Unagi Voyager as a daily driver for it's light weight, good range, and stylish look.

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