Are electric scooters really safe? Are electric scooters safer than cars? Electric scooters are still new to most countries and so some of the most commonly asked questions around electric scooters are related to electric scooter safety.
In fact, the laws regarding electric scooters are still unclear, or still unset by governments, making it all the more confusing to know whether electric scooters are actually safe to ride publicly.
So, the answer can depend on the country and its rules, as well as the driving experience of the rider. By the end of this guide, you will have a better understanding of electric scooters and how safe electric scooters are to ride.
Keep reading to answer the question: ‘Are Electric Scooters Safe?’
What Are E Scooters?
Before we answer ‘Are Electric Scooters Safe?’, let’s look at what are electric scooters, or e-scooters? Electric scooters and e-scooters refer to the same thing: the relatively new motorized scooters that have rechargeable electric engines, two wheels, and used by a single stand-up passenger.
Electric scooters are not the same as electric motorcycles or electric mopeds, however, despite the terms being used interchangeably. Electric scooters can have a maximum speed of up to 30mph or 48kph, and an average speed of 15mph, or 24kph.
How electric scooters are classed, or categorized, depends on the country. So far, electric scooters have been classed as pedestrians, electric bicycles, light mopeds, light two or three-wheeled vehicles, and powered transporters.
What Are The Benefits Of Electric Scooters?
The main benefit of electric scooters, which can be attributed to their rise in popularity in the last few years, is the fact that electric scooters are environmentally friendly.
Just like electric cars, electric scooters are more sustainable (having a lower carbon footprint than cars), as well as more economical. They are cheap to run and do not require much maintenance.
Electric scooters are easy and effortless to use, needing little to no training and guidance. Electric scooters can also be quicker than pushbikes, cars, and public transport when used as transportation in busy major cities.
Are Electric Scooters Safe?
The main question of this article, and one of the most searched questions around electric scooters, ‘Are Electric Scooters Safe?’ The simple answer is that it depends on the local laws and the driver. Of course, countries that have currently implemented a set law system around electric scooters are going to be safer, as this provides more general guidelines to how electric scooters should be used safely and appropriately.
For example, some countries allow electric scooters on sidewalks, while in other countries electric scooters are restricted to roads – both of these having advantages and disadvantages in terms of pedestrian and vehicle safety. Generally speaking, riding an electric scooter should be done sensibly (not recklessly), with good situational awareness, following local speed limits as well as where e-scooters are legally permitted to be used.
Do You Need A License For An Electric Scooter?
In most countries that have publically implemented electric scooters, it is not required to have a driving license. Because of this, how safe a rider is when riding an electric scooter can also depend on their driving experience.
In public places and on public streets, general driving experience, such as awareness and knowledge of the rules, will help to improve the safety of both the rider and other road users.
As for speed, the average legal speed limit for electric scooters is 20mph, or 32kph. And while this might not seem fast, it is important to remember that electric scooters pose a higher risk of injury due to not offering the same protection as a car.
This can also make it important that electric scooter users are appropriately dressed and/or wearing safety gear when riding in public places.
Do You Need A Helmet To Ride An Electric Scooter?
Another thing that can increase electric scooter safety is wearing safety gear in public, including helmets, knee pads, and elbow pads. Just like speed limits and where electric scooters are allowed to be used, this varies depending on the country.
In the US, for example, there are some states that require helmet use with electric scooters – specifically when below a certain age (typically 18 years). These include California, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Massachusetts.
For some other states, helmet wearing is required for people under 17 and 16 years of age. Otherwise, wearing safety gear when riding an electric scooter is optional. Due to this, it is always best to familiarize yourself with the local laws before using, or even buying, an electric scooter.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does An E Scooter Cost?
In the US, the average cost of an electric scooter is between $300 and $400. This is for the average low to midrange adult electric scooter. Cheap e-scooters can be low as $250, while high-end electric scooters can be $2000 or more.
The price of an electric scooter will be based on its battery quality, build quality and materials, functionality, portability (weight and how foldable), brand, as well as whether it offers additional features, such as improved suspension and companion apps.
Are Electric Scooters Legal?
Electric scooters are legal in certain countries. Some countries have unclear laws, or just a few laws, around electric scooters, with electric scooters being illegal in other countries, such as the UK.
Overall, it is best to familiarize yourself with the local laws before riding or buying an electric scooter. This is to ensure that you do not get fined, have your e-scooter confiscated, or cause an unnecessary accident.
To answer the important question of ‘are electric scooters safe?’, electric scooters are safe when used responsibly in accordance with the local law. This includes the use of helmets, following general road safety and speed limits, and where e-scooters are permitted to be used.
In terms of injury risk, electric scooters are similar to pushbikes and other light two or three-wheeled vehicles in that they do not offer the rider much protection. For this reason, it is important to drive sensibly and wear appropriate attire with electric scooters.
There you have it! We hope you enjoyed our article on ‘Are Electric Scooters Safe?’