Someone who hasn’t ridden a manual two-wheeler before will struggle to control the vehicle, especially when the riding situation is not favorable. If it’s difficult for an adult beginner, imagine how difficult it could be for a kid. The importance of training before rocking an electric scooter shouldn’t be understated.
I don’t mean to scare you. My own 7-year-old rides an e-scooter and he loves it a lot. It is his first scooter ever and except two minor slip-ups, things are going off without a hitch for him.
My husband and I made sure to train Kevin properly before he took his scooter out on the road for a spin. We educated him on the importance of following safety rules for days.
We made him practice for 3 weeks straight in an empty parking lot in our neighborhood. Kevin actually learned how to balance himself under two weeks. But my overprotective motherly nature wanted him to become a pro-rider before I let him out on a crowded street.
Why should I not be extra protective? I did some digging to find out electric scooter-related hazards when Kevin showed interest in a scooter. Here’s what I found:
Electric Scooter Injury Statistics: The Bitter Reality
All the awesomeness aside, electric scooters can be just fatal as any other vehicle if you ride carelessly. A CDC study in 2018 reported 271 cases of electric scooter-related injuries in the streets of Austin, Texas alone.
About 15% of them suffered from traumatic brain injuries. The report clearly states that a third of these victims were first-timers. And you know the most mind-boggling fact? Less than one percent of them were wearing helmets.
LA’s e-scooter injury statistics are also quite frightening. According to the NEISS data, 600 individuals had to visit the emergency room per day due to scooter crash. All of them were kids between 5-17 years.
Why am I telling you all these horrific stats? To show you how the lack of proper riding skills and safety gears almost guarantee lethal injuries.
Most Common Mistakes People Make While Riding Electric Scooters
As I keep saying, most e-scooter related accidents occur due to the carelessness of the rider. The roads are and will always be dangerous. No matter how many laws our government enforces, laws can’t guarantee your safety.
Sometimes even the smallest mistakes can cost your children a lot. Below I’ve listed a couple of common scooter riding mistakes every rider should avoid at all costs:
A.Not Caring for the Speed Limit:
Spinning the wheels at top speed on road is the real deal. That’s what gets the adrenaline pumping. Right?
Wrong. Crossing the standard speed limit is not just dangerous for the rider but for the pedestrians as well. Most electric rideables can go up to 15 mph, while an average pedestrian’s walking speed is about 4 mph. Do you see the massive difference?
It’s not okay to Overspeed at a seemingly empty road either. Remember that the scooter’s speed is not the only force at play. There are the rider’s weight and the vehicle’s weight at play too. Therefore, at such high speed, your kid can easily lose control of his scooter and cause a crash.
B. Using Headphones:
I’m sure it’s fun to put on some music while riding a scooter. But keeping noise-canceling headphones on while riding a scooter can be dangerous. The rider won’t be able to hear what’s happening around him including the honking of cars behind him. Same goes for talking on the phone. It keeps him from focusing his full attention on the road.
C. Charging Mistake:
Most electric scooters use lithium batteries which are highly combustible. Overcharging it or driving with a low battery puts extra load on the batteries, leading to accidents.
You should always buy batteries from reputed sellers instead of using DIY battery packs. Also, get your kid to charge the bike overnight instead of rushing things up in the morning.
D. Applying the Throttle at the Start:
Many people make the grave mistake of applying the throttle before they start moving. This makes the scooter accelerate too quickly. Due to inertia, it leads to jerking movement. Moving too fast right from the dead spot can lead to minor injuries too.
The electric scooter for kids comes with multiple power levels. Some advanced models don’t allow acceleration until the scooter reaches 5 mph.
However, buying a great e-scooter is only half the job done.
It won’t be safe until your child learns how to operate it properly. Learning how to ride an electric scooter safely is no rocket science. On the bright side, it is easier to train a kid who already has a great command on riding a push scooter or kick scooter.
Don’t worry, even if your child has never ridden a scooter before, he can start. I believe kids learn faster as they are more agile than most adults. All they need is proper training.