Have you ever been tempted by ditching the commute and riding an electric scooter to work? One of our employees at Personal Injury Help has! Here is her take on what it's like to commute to work on an electric scooter.
I am the slightly-proud owner of a Razor e100 (I’m looking to upgrade soon, as it was built for small children). I live in Boston, which is a pretty sweet city for scooters. Everything is flat, and it’s moderately bicycle-friendly. I used to walk 45 minutes each way to work, and now I can get to the office in 19 minutes. Best of all, scooters are one of the greenest forms of transportation. I quickly learned that there are a lot of dangers when riding around a city. Here are some of the tips I’ve picked up from riding into the office.
Tip #1: Call your local police department.
I wasn’t quite sure where I should ride when I first got my scooter, so I called Boston PD’s non-emergency phone number. The officer on the line said that since my scooter isn’t quite safe on the sidewalks due to pedestrians, so I was advised to ride in the bicycle lane.
This works out well in my favor, as there is a long designated bike lane most of the way into the office. Where life gets hairy is in a congested area of Chinatown. No bicycle lane, lots of cranky commuters. Fortunately, there are almost no pedestrians because it’s near the highway. There, I go onto the sidewalk. A cop could potentially pull me over if he was in a bad mood I suppose, but it’s a decision I take keep myself and other motorists as safe as possible.
Tip #2: Learn how to use your scooter, and scoot at a safe speed for you.
When I first started riding, I was not very confident on my scooter. I couldn’t handle bumps in the road very well, and I would occasionally lose control of my scooter when going down hills at a higher speed. This is very unsafe, especially when you’re riding with traffic.
When you get a new scooter, practice turns, going up and down hills, and handling cracks in the road in an area not often visited by traffic. This will give you a good idea of how your scooter handles and experience in riding.
Tip #3: Wear a helmet!
When did helmets go out of fashion? I’m not sure why everyone on wheels isn’t wearing a helmet. They’re not mandatory in most states and cities, but there are numerous benefits to wearing a helmet. Not only will you keep your head safe and protected, but you’ll be setting a good example for youth riders.
Tip #4: Assume every single car cannot see you.
When I’m riding into work, I assume I’m invisible. Although it may seem clear to you that you’ve been behind a car for a mile, it’s very possible that the motorist hasn’t seen you. Motorists have a difficult time seeing bicyclists, and electric scooters are even smaller than bicycles.
One way you can keep yourself visible is by wearing bright clothing, and not riding your scooter at dusk or dawn, times of the day where crashes are most likely to happen. Because scooters don’t have the bright reflectors most bicycles have, it’s always a good idea to wear some bright clothing, such as a yellow shirt or some flashy sneakers.
These are some of my favorite tips for staying safe! What are yours?