Electric scooters are a hip, trendy new way of saving on fuel costs and enjoying a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation. Scooter rental companies like Bird and Lime are popping up all over Southern California offering and user-friendly apps. But just how safe is scooting around high traffic areas of SoCal?
How Safe is Traveling by Scooter?
Like bicycling, riding a scooter puts you in more direct danger of contact and injuries. Some of the most common dangers of traveling by scooter include:
-Scooters are less visible to drivers
-No barrier between you and the road
-Dangers of road hazards are increased
-Scooters are less stable and prone to tilting
-High-risk behavior among riders can cause injury to those nearby
-Inexperienced scooter riders may operate them improperly
-Some areas have experienced tampering or vandalizing of rental scooters.
Scooter accidents often result in serious injuries that could impact you and your loved ones for the rest of your life.
Are there Other Potential Risks to Using Scooters?
Let’s not forget that scooting, like every other mode of transportation, has certain rules and requirements. California Vehicle Code requires the following for motorized scooter use:
-Valid driver’s license or instructional permit.
-Helmets must be worn at all times.
-Only one person per scooter.
-Scooters may be ridden on the road only, not the sidewalk.
-Scooters may not be parked on a sidewalk or other pedestrian traffic area.
-Scooters may not be ridden at night unless equipped with proper lighting and reflectors.
While it may not be expensive to rent a scooter, violating any of these laws, as well as the numerous city-level laws being proposed, could be costly.
Consider the risks and the costs before giving in to the hype: your wallet, and your life, can depend on it.