Electric scooters, also known as e-scooters, have grown in popularity over recent years. Shared electric scooter services such as Bird and Lime have brought e-scooters to many major U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, Atlanta, and San Francisco.
While e-scooters are a great alternative form of transportation, they can be dangerous for riders. Between 2017 and 2021, emergency room-treated injuries for e-scooter, e-bike, and hoverboard riders increased by 127%. During the same time, the number of deaths increased by 860%.
As more people start heading out on their scooters, it’s crucial for drivers to take some extra steps to keep them safe. By following these seven essential tips, you can enhance road safety and reduce the risk of accidents involving e-scooters.
1. Stay Aware of Your Surroundings
When driving near electric scooters, remain alert and aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye out for scooter riders and anticipate their movements. Depending on where you are, you may find e-scooters on the local roads, on the sidewalks, or even on the freeway. By scanning your environment and avoiding distractions, you can reduce the risk of colliding with a scooter.
2. Know and Follow Local Laws
Familiarize yourself with the specific traffic laws and regulations concerning electric scooters in your area. Understanding speed limits, designated scooter lanes, and other rules can help you responsibly share the road.
In some states, e-scooters are essentially unregulated. There’s a good chance you may come across inexperienced riders who could behave erratically, so keep a sharp eye out for them and give them extra space.
3. Use Your Turn Signals
Using your turn signals is essential when driving near electric scooters. Signaling your intentions early provides clarity to scooter riders and other drivers, allowing them to anticipate your actions. By incorporating this habit into your driving routine, you can enhance communication on the road and reduce the likelihood of collisions.
4. Check Your Blind Spots
Always be mindful of your blind spots, especially when sharing the road with electric scooters. Due to their size, scooters can be less visible in certain areas. Regularly check your mirrors and make shoulder checks to ensure no scooters are in your blind spots before making any maneuvers.
5. Maintain a Safe Following Distance
Maintaining a safe following distance behind electric scooters is crucial for everyone's safety. Avoid tailgating to minimize the risk of rear-end collisions and leave more space than you think you need. This will allow for plenty of reaction time in case the scooter needs to suddenly stop or swerve.
6. Be Patient and Share the Road
When sharing the road with e-scooters, patience and consideration are vital. Scooters can't go as fast as cars, and they may have limitations maneuvering tight intersections. While this may be frustrating, good drivers understand the need to allow everyone on the road the space and time necessary to navigate safely.
7. Be Careful When Opening Car Doors
Before opening your car door, check your surroundings to make sure there are no approaching scooters. Electric scooters are quiet and can easily go unnoticed. This can make them particularly vulnerable to collisions with an opening door. Remember that in some areas, it’s acceptable to ride scooters on sidewalks, so make sure your passengers use extra care as well.
Share the Roads Safely
With these seven tips in your toolbox, you can make a real difference in helping to prevent e-scooter injuries. But why stop there? Enhance your driving skills and safety awareness even more by exploring our fun and affordable online driver's education courses. Our comprehensive programs provide valuable knowledge and reinforce good driving habits. Together, we can make the roads safer for drivers and riders alike.