Over the past year, several electric scooter rental companies have appeared across the country. They leave their scooters in major cities and then people use an app to unlock and rent the scooter. The average cost is around $1 up front and then an additional 15 cents per minute. It’s a great way to make short commutes. Here are four things you should know before jumping on your first electric scooter rental.
1. Keep A Helmet Handy
Remembering to carry a helmet can be difficult if you are used to walking or driving around. But it’s a good idea to have one handy if you expect to hop on a scooter rental at some point in the day. Some of these scooters can reach top speeds of 15 MPH. That might not seem incredibly fast, but if you suddenly come into contact with a wall, a sign, or a concrete sidewalk, it’s going to hurt. Remember that there are no installed safety features on these scooters.
As the number of scooter rental start-ups increase the number of scooter-related injuries has increased as well. Electric scooters are not dangerous by any means, but accidents can happen. A collision at 15 MPH can result in cuts, scrapes, fractures, broken bones, or head injuries. A helmet can’t protect you from a broken ankle, but it can protect your head, which houses your most important organ.
Ideally, if you are planning a long trip on a rented scooter, then you should protect other parts of the body with pads as well. Knee pads and elbow pads are affordable and work great. Of course, most riders aren’t layering themselves with pads and armor before heading to work on a scooter. But a helmet should be considered mandatory at the very least.
2. Know The Law
In many places, wearing a helmet is more than just a matter of safety. Local laws often require that those driving electric scooters wear a helmet. Some of the big scooter rental companies may be trying to fight these laws, but you shouldn’t expect them to go away any time soon. As a matter of fact, as scooter rentals become more popular, you should expect more laws to arise in an attempt to maintain public safety.
Legislation regarding electric scooters will vary from state-to-state and sometimes from one city to another. Some cities have completely banned their use in public. If you’re in one of those cities, then don’t make the mistake of renting an electric scooter just because you see one.
You will need to make an effort to familiarize yourself with electric scooter laws in your state and city. Furthermore, you’ll need to keep up with changes in legislation if you continue to rent scooters on a regular basis.
California has some of the strictest electric scooter laws and it also has a lot of electric scooter rentals. Their laws make wearing a helmet mandatory, limit the maximum speed to 15 MPH, require you to have a learner’s permit or driver’s license, do not allow driving on the sidewalk, and only permit riding on the street in certain places.
If you are attending college, then it’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the rules of your school. A city may allow electric scooters, but the campus rules may prohibit them.
3. Be Mindful Of Pedestrians
The electric scooter rental business is still in its infancy. Many cities are still only allowing their use on a trial basis. Other major cities do not allow them yet but are watching them closely to see how they evolve. That means that every incident is going to influence whether they stay around and what cities will allow them.
If you like the idea of making quick commutes on a rented scooter, then you need to do your part to keep the industry in a positive light. One of the ways you can do this is by being careful. Running into pedestrians, in general, is a bad idea, but it’s even worse considering the impact it will have on the future of the industry.
If pedestrians are being injured by riders of electric scooters, then it’s very unlikely their business will be around in the future. Other cities will see the dangers and decide not to allow them.
The same applies to local laws and regulations. You are a part of the birth of an industry and all of the actions you take while riding your rented scooter are important. There are a lot of people in New York City hoping this industry will be allowed there soon. You don’t want to be the person who ruins it for them.
4. Consider Making Some Extra Cash
Electric scooters are powered by batteries and batteries need to be charged. Some of the biggest names in the industry offer everyday citizens an opportunity to charge their scooters in exchange for payment. There are people who make between $10 and $20 finding scooters and charging them. It can be a great way to make some extra income or to at least cover the cost of renting the scooter.
it’s unknown whether this industry will continue to grow and thrive as it has been over the past year. Some of these companies are worth more than $1 billion and aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. It’s an affordable and energy efficient method of traveling short distances. It also happens to be a lot of fun. Just remember to follow the rules, watch out for pedestrians, and keep safety in mind.