As concerns around the Coronavirus continue to decline in Australia due to aggressive measures taken across the country to flatten the curve, many Aussies are craving a return to normalcy. Over the last year, e-scooters have become a common sight in many parts of the country. Due to the incredibly high rate of adoption, accidents involving e-scooters, motorists and pedestrians have become common and as a result, steps are been taken to regulate their use.
Although e-scooters are incredibly convenient, save you time and money on gas and car maintenance costs, none of the regional governments have laid down a coherent body of laws or the necessary infrastructural adjustments to safely accommodate this incredible technology. While the governments of other countries have responded to the boom by outrightly banning e-scooters, regional leaders in Australia are conscious of how e-scooters can positively decongest many big cities and are more focused on regulation as a result. The section below is a comprehensive guide to personal safety the next time you decide to get around town on an e-scooter.
Safety tips for E-scooter use in Australia
Check the Weather:
If your primary mode of transportation is by e-scooter or you decide to take it out for the day instead of your car or bike, be sure to check the weather.
This is because although e-scooters ride well on dry, smooth surfaces, the design and engineering of its tyres and frame in many moderately costly models cannot be relied upon to stand the test of a wet day out with the significant risk of a slip and fall situation. In addition to this, the e-scooter is not designed to function when it snows either. Stop riding and head for refuge if you’re caught in a thunderstorm as human strikes are extremely fatal.
Always use protective gear on e-scooters
Before you set out on your e-scooter, at the very least, make sure you have your helmet, elbow pads, knee pads and if possible, mouth guards and gloves. While you can do a lot of safety checks to reduce the probability of an accident, you have little or no control over how other people decide to behave.
Due to this, some accidents are impossible to avert. Protective gear serves as a form of insurance from bodily harm whenever inevitable accidents occur. To this end, it is of absolute importance to buy and maintain a robust collection of helmets, straps, gloves, and guards if you’re looking to spend a significant amount of time riding an e-scooter.
Feel the balance
If you’ll be riding an e-scooter around town, you might as well make sure to feel the tyre and frame for any signs of wear. In addition to this, you will want to schedule regular maintenance checks by a trained professional to ensure that your e-scooter lasts as long as it should and delivers value for your money.
In addition to this, cultivate an intuition as to how your e-scooter sounds and what it feels like to ride so that you’ll know whenever something is wrong.
Pay attention to your surroundings
While e-scooters are so easy to use that they can encourage passivity, avoid the urge to look at your phone, or subconsciously drift into thought while you’re on the road. Look out for cars, buses, and other pedestrians while you’re on the road.
Also, pay particular bikes, other e-scooters, and most of the other alternative forms of transportation as they rely on the same tracks and road paths as you to get from one place to another.
Look out for obstructions and road signs
While this might have been easily covered under the previous section, it deserves a section of its own because of such a common source of accidents for e-scooters. Always look out for road construction signage on your rides. Also, look out for unexpected potholes and bumps.
A corollary to this is that while Australian law designates that the acceptable limit of speed is about 10km/h, many models can go faster. To this end, it is important to not carried away with the pleasure of speeding past traffic as barriers such as a manhole and other such structures may be close by. Puddles are also an imminent source of danger as they can easily displace e-scooters and slip the rider right off.
Ride one, not two
Although some new e-scooter models are built to accommodate more than one person, many of the existing models are single-use purpose machine.
To this end, please desist from riding your e-scooter with another passenger as it might compromise your balance and lead to fatal injury. Also, depending on your combined weight, regular trips of this nature will cause the e-scooter to wear quickly.
It is likely that when the Coronavirus is phased out, the leaders in the various regions across the country will make definite moves to enact comprehensive regulations to guide their use.
In the meantime, it is important to ensure that you check the weather, wear protective gear, and adhere to other guides to behaviour while riding as they’ll come in handy if an incident ever occurs. If you’re looking to purchase an e-scooter, make sure to collect as much information as you can from blogs like this one or others like it as small differences in design and engineering between the models can significantly impact your experience.