E-Scooter Safety Tips
In 2020, E-Scooters came to the U.K. with a bang. Initially operating in 20 “trial areas” around the country, which included some major cities such as Liverpool and Nottingham. In 2021, a similar trial is meant to take place in London.
At the moment, U.K. legislation still restricts the use of privately owned E-Scooters. So for the time being, people can only access them through rental apps, such as Voi, Spin, Bird or Lime.
Nevertheless, this new wave in micro-mobility has suddenly become accessible to vast amounts of the British population. Whilst this is met with excitement by many, some people still remain hesitant over the safety of these new vehicles
If you are feeling intimidated or uneasy about using an E-Scooter for the first time, then please don’t be! They are easy to use, convenient and (if used responsibly) perfectly safe. Here is a list of everything you need to know before setting off, as well as some top tips and rules that you need to bear in mind!
Need to know before you get going:
At the moment, the only legal use of an E-Scooter will be through a rental company. To access an E-Scooter in your local area you will need to download the app and set up an account with the company operating in that area.
Once you get going on your rented app you should bear in mind all Scooters will operate within the approved and designated areas. Meaning all scooters across the UK will have geo-location usage in their app if you stray outside the designated areas your scooter will most likely start slowing down and not start up again until you are back in the designated riding zone!
For a full list of companies, how and where they operate in the U.K. check out our blog: “Your guide to E-Scooter rental in the U.K.“
For a more detailed look at how to download and operate these rental apps, check out our blog: “E-Scooter Rental App Information”
Next, be aware, that you will need to be at least 16 years old and hold a provisional licence to use an E-Scooter, this rule applies to all companies across the UK. However, some companies have increased the age from 16 to 18 in some areas. Each company will have the rules and regulations in their app.
Finally, the most important thing is safety! Although not a legal requirement, Helmets come strongly recommended! For more tips on how to ride safely keep reading…
- Helmets – This is the most important tip you will read. It is recommended to wear a helmet at all times, as well as high visibility clothing. All rental E-Scooters also come equipped with both front and rear lights.
- Take it Easy – E-Scooters provide a quick and convenient way of zipping through your city. That being said, riding responsibly is of paramount importance. There is no need to hurtle around town as quickly as you can. You should always be conscious of road regulations, as well as being aware of other vehicles and pedestrians. In fact, the maximum speed for an e-scooter is set at 15.5mph. Rental companies will limit the speed of their E-Scooters to match this regulation.
- Front foot pointing forward, back foot to the side – If you have ever used a skateboard or snowboard, then this will come naturally to you. If not, do not fear. It doesn’t take long to get used to the position. This is definitely the recommended position as it helps with balance, steering and general comfort!
- Bend your knees a little – Again, if you’re used to playing sports, working out at the gym or just general exercise this tip should come naturally. Keeping your knees bent will help with comfort and keep you alert if you suddenly need to stop!
- Don’t hold the handlebars too hard – You do not need to hold on to the handlebars for dear life, this is not a roller-coaster that you’ve been dragged on to. Keep a steady grip, but allow yourself some flexibility to steer from side to side. By keeping this grip you’ll remain balanced, ride through any bumps without hurting your wrists.
- Centre of gravity – your centre of gravity should be between the front and back wheels. This means you should aim to stand a comfortable distance from the handlebars. You do not need to stand too close to them, particularly if you need to brake suddenly.
- Drive safely – You should always be aware of your surroundings, particularly other vehicles on the road. You should try to anticipate any stoppages, giving yourself plenty of time to break.
- Practice makes perfect – Like anything, the more you do it the better you’ll become. However, when first starting out you should begin by practising the basics first. Try scooting in a straight line and stopping. Also, try an emergency break, so then if you ever need to do this in real life it’s not a shocking experience. If you have ever ridden a bicycle or driven a car think about how comfortable you are today, compared to when you first started learning. Also, consider some of the things you went through when you first started learning. How to go. How to brake. How to turn safely. Emergency Brake etc.
- E-Scooters should be used by one person at a time – This one is more a rule, than a tip. But E-Scooters are not designed to be used by more than one person.
- Roads to consider – E-Scooters are allowed on roads (except motorways) and in cycle lanes. We recommend that you use cycle lanes as much as possible. E-Scooters are not allowed on pavements!
- Bags – Always ensure bags or other small items you are carrying will not cause a danger to you or others around you – for example, never hang them from the handlebars.
- Mobile Phones – You must not use a mobile phone when using an E-Scooter. You may use a screen to display navigation information, but this must be set up prior to setting off.
Rules and Regulations
Currently, E-Scooters are classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEV’s), so they’re treated as motor vehicles and are subject to similar legal requirements as other vehicles. Here is a list of rules and regulations set out by the U.K. Government:
For a full list of laws you should follow, you can read our blog “Your Guide to E-Scooter rental in the U.K.” or check out the Government Guidelines here: “E-Scooter Trials Guidance For Users.”
You can check out a list of Micro-Mobility tours throughout the UK here. Book now!