Scooters were once used only as children’s toys, but the electric versions, powered by compact lithium-ion batteries have become the latest adult solution to urban congestion.
The popularity of e-scooters is however understandable.
- They are easy and fun to ride, easy to handle, convenient and potentially cheap.
- They produce no emissions and constitute a minimal carbon footprint.
- They can reduce private auto and taxi use helping ease congestion and pollution.
However, with their growing popularity, critics have also criticized e-scooters especially for their safety issues; many see it as risky to both riders and pedestrians.
In some cities, local municipalities have imposed strict, though inconsistent, regulations on speed limits, parking, nighttime riding and helmet use. Some cities have ruled it illegal to ride scooters on sidewalks, while others have banned their use on city streets. In some cities, angry locals have protested the influx of abandoned scooters by putting them in dumpsters, setting them on fire, and smearing them with dog poop.
Rider safety is a universal concern, as experts point to a surge of serious accidents since e-scooters were introduced. Because these are fun and easy to ride, they promote a false sense of security say experts.
The scooters small wheels are not built for rough pavement and potholes and can lead to riders losing control.
Lot of parents fit these scooters with a special attachment (another set of handle grips at the kid’s height or a kid’s chair) that allows them to take a child on the ride with them.
However, it may not be a smart parenting choice as adding more weight on these interferes with the balance of the scooter. Besides, these can travel at speeds of around 20 mph, which is definitely not very slow. In case of an accident, the person placed on the handles of your bike will be sent flying to the ground.
Scooters are essentially made only for one rider. Scooter company Razor says even those scooters which are marketed for more than one rider are best used solo. Just because there is room to fit a kid on your e-scooter, doesn’t mean that you should, even if you make the kid wear helmet.
If you want your kids to enjoy these ride-on scooters, get them the kiddie or toddler version and you can ride the adult version alongside. Just make sure you invest in safety gear both for the child and yourself. Consider buying helmet, knee and elbow pads for your child, and appropriate shoe-wear (laced up, no exposed toes).