I'm a big fan of electric scooters and think they're a convenient and eco-friendly way of getting around a city. I've clocked up many miles on them while reviewing various models for T3's best electric scooter guide, so I have a pretty good idea of how you should and shouldn't be using an e-scooter.
Despite electric scooters being fairly common nowadays, I still see a lot of mistakes being made, some of which simply make the rider look amateurish, but also some more serious errors that give all electric scooter riders a bad name. I'm guessing most people have made at least some of these mistakes at least once or twice, and if you haven't then feel free to gloat on Twitter.
As such, here are the mistakes you can easily avoid in order to make your electric scooter experience so much better. We also have an exciting guide to mistakes everyone makes about ebikes, which are also relevant to e-scooter riders.
1. Riding on the pavements
Electric scooters cannot legally be used on the pavement. Private e-scooters can only be used on private land, while e-scooters that are rented as part of government-backed trials can be used on public roads and cycle lanes (but still not pavements).
Using electric scooters on pavements, especially in busy areas, is dangerous to pedestrians and gives electric scooters a bad reputation.
2. Not wearing a helmet
Okay, I'll admit, even I've made this mistake a few times. Whether you are riding a rented electric scooter or your personal e-scooter, you should always wear a helmet.
With their small wheels, it's pretty easy to fall off an electric scooter, and as they're capable of travelling at pretty fast speeds, this could result in serious accidents and injuries. So, make sure you're wearing one of the best helmets.
As well as a helmet, if you're riding an electric scooter at night I'd recommend wearing a reflective vest or extra lights as well, so other vehicles on the road can spot you easily.
3. Driving recklessly around pedestrians
This is like a 'part two' to the first point on this list – if you're riding an electric scooter near pedestrians, then slow down and be courteous. This applies at crossings and on pavements (because, yes, sometimes it's safer and necessary to ride on a pavement).
As a pedestrian, it's pretty intimidating having an electric scooter rider silently speed past you at 15 miles per hour, especially if the pedestrian is visually impaired or vulnerable in some way.
This tip is not only for the benefit of pedestrians – if you're riding sensibly then you're a lot less likely to be stopped by the police and have your e-scooter confiscated.
4. Wearing earphones while riding
I always have to double-take when I see someone riding an electric scooter with headphones on – it's unbelievably dangerous and takes away your environmental awareness.
If you really must listen to music, or use your phone for sat nav directions, then mount your phone to the scooter's handlebar and use your phone's speaker. This allows you to hear both the navigation directions as well as what's happening around you.
5. Incorrect foot placement on the board
This is one of the most common mistakes electric scooters I've seen. Most beginners place their feet side by side on the deck, which is comfortable, but not the most stable position. Instead, I'd suggest placing one foot in front and the other, similar to how one would stand on a skateboard.
This allows you to balance easier, shift your weight forward when accelerating, shift backwards when braking, and brace when going over bumps. Ultimately, it's a lot more stable.
6. Riding with a flat tyre or dirty scooter
It's important to look after your electric scooter – they're certainly not as robust as bikes – they require maintenance and cleaning to keep them in perfect working order.
Cleanliness is especially important if you have a cheap electric scooter that might not be fully water and dirt resistant – you wouldn't want dirt and grime working its way into the delicate motor.
If you don't look after your electric scooter it's more likely to fail while you're riding it, causing an accident.
For more tips on this read our guide to electric scooter maintenance.