Electric Scooter Riding Mistakes

man is fallen next to his electric scooter after the accident

There are lots of e-scooter crash compilations on Youtube. Most of these accidents happened due to a common electric scooter riding mistake.

To be honest, I have also done some of those mistakes when I had my first electric scooter.

If you follow all the steps outlined in this article, you have done everything you can to ride safely your e-scooter.

Top 11 Riding Mistakes New E-Scooter Riders Make

Here are the most common electric scooter mistakes that beginner and also seasoned riders do. We also provide our solutions for how to avoid those mistakes.

Not Using a Safety Gear

kid wearing the safety gear posing next to their electric scooters

We see very often, that people ride electric scooters without any kind of safety gear. It’s especially visible when people ride with rental scooters.

It’s an honest mistake because you don’t usually have a helmet in your pocket just in case you rent the scooter from the street. Also, as it turns out, in most countries the use of helmets is not mandatory.

But the truth is, no one cares about your health as much as you. If kids ride an electric scooter, they should wear:

  • Helmet
  • Knee pads
  • Elbow pads

If you are an experienced rider, you can skip elbow and knee pads but a helmet is still a must. The Head is the most valuable part of our body and we should protect it as hard as we can.

Wrong Stance

There are different ways how to stand on the deck of an electric scooter.

The 3 main stances are:

  • Left foot forward (regular stance)
  • Right foot forward (goofy stance)
  • Side-by-side feet

We do not recommend holding your feet side-by-side when riding an electric scooter.

Holding your feet next to each other is dangerous because you have less balance when accelerating or braking. It can lead to falling or flying over the handlebars.

Which Foot Should I Keep Forward?

In most cases, it doesn’t matter which foot you put forward while riding an e-scooter. However, it might come into consideration, if you ride next to parked cars.

The biggest problem is if the car door opens at the same time you are passing them.

  • When cars are parked on your right, keep your right foot in front.
  • When cars are parked on your left, keep your left foot in front.

By that, your shoulder and your side are most exposed when turning away from the car door.

Otherwise, your chest, stomach, etc will be exposed and it would be much more painful if the hit came there.

Don’t Lock Your Knees

Another way to improve your stance is to keep your knees flexible. Don’t lock them out. Have a slight bend in your knees.

By that, you won’t hurt your legs if you hit an unforeseen bump. Also, if you ride on a bumpy road with locked knees, you can have an uncomfortable vibrating brain massage.

By bending your knees and having a flex in them, they work like suspensions.

Wrong Braking Technique

Braking is a vital part of involving in traffic. We have noticed that beginner riders are doing the braking wrong very often.

It is particularly dangerous if they ride with a powerful scooter with strong brakes. If your stance is wrong and you don’t balance yourself properly when braking, it is really easy to go over the handlebars.

When braking, your goal is to keep the rear wheel down. So, before hitting the brakes, you must bring the balance as far back as possible. Your momentum is going forward but you are counteracting that force.

Don’t Brake With Rear Mudguard

Another thing we often see is people using the rear mudguard to slow down the scooter. It’s not a good idea.

Yeah, some scooters really have this kind of rear brake, that you can step on it and it will stop your scooter. But there are very few of them.

Most of the time, the rear fender is just for keeping the scooter and rider clean and is not meant for braking.

Don’t use the rear mudguard to slow down the scooter. It will damage your scooter.

Misjudging the Condition of the Terrain

bicycle lane painted to red

The best type of terrain is smooth and dry pavement.

But what if it’s wet? Or what happens if there are leaves on the ground? You may also find yourself on loose sand or metal (manhole covers).

We often see that people don’t change their riding style even if the conditions have changed dramatically.

If we take dry asphalt as a baseline (100% traction) then in the table below, you can see how much traction is on other types of surfaces.

Type of TerrainTraction
Dry Pavement100%
Wet Pavement85%
Dry Metal63%
Sand55%
Wet Metal48%
Dry Leaves35%
Wet Leaves28%

As you can see, the traction changes a lot on different surfaces. Riding on leaves (no matter if they are dry or wet) is the most dangerous.

Additionally, be careful when riding on a painted area of the road (white stripes). They tend to be extra slippery when wet.

What’s the Right Riding Technique On Slippery Terrain?

If you are riding on wet pavement, avoid sudden changes in direction. Don’t accelerate as fast as you are used to and don’t brake as aggressively as you normally do. In general, be more careful.

If you suddenly find yourself on the sand, wet metal, or leaves, don’t turn or brake. Wait until you get to the other side.

Jumping with an Electric Scooter

While some electric scooters are suitable for off-roading, no scooter withstand jumping.

It’s okay to ride over the speed bumps at speed or hop off some occasional curb. E-scooters can handle this kind of pressure.

We recommend avoiding any jumps that are higher than 1 foot (30 cm).

Higher jumps will cause too much pressure on parts of the scooter that are not built to handle that much force.

At best, you will have a broken scooter. But at worst, you could injure yourself.

Riding One-Handed

You should always keep both of your hands on the handlebars when riding an e-scooter.

There are so many videos where a person starts waving and immediately loses control of the electric scooter and falls very badly.

All of us have ridden the bicycle one-handed or even without hands. The big difference is the wheel size. Scooter wheels are smaller and they tend to wobble. That’s why you need to keep both hands on the handlebar to keep the scooter stable.

How to Signal Before You Turn?

Not every e-scooter is equipped with turning lights. But if there are others around you and you are making a maneuver, it would be polite to signal others about your intentions.

Yes, we are used to doing it with our hands when riding a bicycle. When riding an electric scooter, you can do the same using your feet.

If you’re turning to the left, put the left foot out. If you’re turning to the right, put your right foot out. It’s a lot safer than taking a hand off the handlebar.

Riding Under the Influence

Everybody knows that it’s illegal to drive a car after using alcohol.

Sadly, it is quite common that after having a fun night out with a couple of drinks, people think it’s okay to ride home with a rental scooter.

As with any other vehicle, it’s prohibited to ride an e-scooter under the influence of alcohol.

Don’t risk injuring yourself or others. Depending on the country, the fines can be quite high.

Better take a taxi.

Riding with 2 People

dad rides an electric scooter with his daughter

It’s one of the most common mistakes we can see every day.

It’s prohibited to ride an electric scooter with a passenger.

Electric scooter manufacturers have built scooters for single-person use. If you overload the scooter it will not work as it’s intended to.

If you constantly ride an e-scooter with a passenger, it has a bad effect on the motor and battery. Also, it will affect the construction of the frame and it can break.

In addition to that, if the scooter is overloaded, the braking distance is longer and it is unstable. So, it can cause much more accidents than riding it alone.

If you want to ride with a passenger, look for a two-person electric scooter.

Not Properly Setting Up Your Scooter

If you take your new scooter out of the box, it may seem like it’s ready to ride. In reality, there might be:

  • Wrong tire pressure
  • Loose bolts
  • Wrong cockpit settings

Tighten All the Bolts

Although manufacturers usually don’t send out products that are poorly assembled, you can’t 100% trust them. You never know how long it has been sitting in the warehouse or what happened during the transport.

Be sure to tighten all the screws and bolts of the scooter after taking it out of the box. Especially, check bolts that are load-bearing or on the moving parts.

Configure the Cockpit

You should set up everything in a way that is most comfortable for you. You might need to change the angle of the brake levers, the display, the throttle, and other buttons.

For that, just loosen all the screws on the handlebar. Then step on the scooter in a way you would do when you are riding. Set all the levers to the most comfortable position and tighten the screws.

Check the Tire Pressure

We don’t know how long the scooter was in the warehouse without maintenance. There is a possibility that the tire pressure has decreased.

If the tire pressure of an e-scooter is incorrect, the tires will wear out much faster. Also, the range of the scooter might be much less.

Usually, the recommended tire pressure is marked on the side of the tire. Follow the recommendation and inflate the tires accordingly.

Riding Too Fast

man rides an e-scooter very fast

Some electric scooters can go even with a speed of 80 mph. And the top speeds of around 40-50 mph are quite common. However, it doesn’t mean you should push your scooter to the limit.

The speedometer of modern cars also shows speeds of 140 mph or even more. But still, we don’t try to max it out all the time.

The wheels of electric scooters are too small for riding as fast as cars do. Every little bump or small stone can impact the stability of the scooter and if the speed is very high, it can end badly.

Wearing Earphones While Riding

You should never wear earbuds or headphones while riding an electric scooter. You need to hear everything around you when participating in the traffic.

In one of the Reddit threads, people are debating if it is okay to listen to music while riding an electric scooter. Although the law does not prohibit it, the majority of people think it is too dangerous.

By the way, in some cities, there have been calls for e-scooter riders to be banned from wearing headphones.

E-Scooter Riding Mistakes Conclusion

I hope you have been lucky enough to avoid any serious accidents while riding an electric scooter.

If you follow all the steps we shared in this article, you are a polite and careful e-scooter rider.

Safe riding!

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