You’re thinking of buying an electric scooter. It looks fun. You’ll get to work quickly. There are no worries about parking or locking it up – you carry it with you. We’re onboard! But we need to talk.
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There are some factors and risks that you need to take into consideration before you or any member of your family uses an electric scooter to get to and from work or even just for fun.
We love our scooters and highly recommend them as a form of transport as they are environmentally friendly but also fun.
But we want you to understand all the positive, negatives and also the risks involved in using one daily.
Let us take a look at some of the risks involved.
It’s Not just a Toy
No matter how old you are, you probably think you’re buying a toy. You’re not. You’re buying a mode of transportation. After all, it has a motor, it travels at a considerable speed, and it can cause accidents.
This last feature needs special attention.
In a study by the CDC, half the injuries sustained in scooter accidents were head injuries. This rate isn’t surprising. Their recommendation is to wear a helmet. Seems obvious, but only 1% of the people in the study wore helmets. When you buy the scooter, buy the helmet!
There are other precautions to take.
Read the manual thoroughly. I know. You’re a guy. You’ve got this. I’m here to tell you, you don’t. All sorts of nifty pieces of advice are scattered among the diagrams, warnings, and disclaimers. Read the manual.
Use moderate speed. Just because the scooter will go 10 or 15 mph doesn’t mean you have to. Especially around corners. Slow it down!
Use another mode of transportation in inclement weather. Scooters tend to lose traction when the pavement is wet. If you insist on using the scooter, use moderate speed and wear that helmet.
This should go without saying, but don’t drink and scoot. Obviously, if you’re under the influence, your balance and your judgment are off. Call rideshare or ask a friend for a ride. You can pack up the scooter and take it with you.
Go solo only. It may be a selfie moment to sail down the street with your buddy, but if he shifts his weight, over the both of you go. Not to mention, just how are you going to get four size 12s on that scooter?
Watch where you’re going. In the CDC study of accidents, 27% ran into a car, a curb, or an inanimate object like a light pole. Ouch! Pay attention to the path ahead of you.
To Insure or Not to Insure
Most scooter owners don’t think to buy insurance. It’s not really necessary, right? Wrong again! When you motor among the public, you automatically expose yourself to liability.
There are three considerations:
- Your injuries
- The other person’s injuries
- Property damage
Without insurance, you’re facing a steep financial obligation. Your injuries will be covered by your health care insurance, but everything else will come out of your pocket.
Some homeowner policies cover scooters, but mostly to replace or repair them due to theft or accidental damage on your property. Check your policy.
The best path to take is to purchase scooter insurance. This is new territory so don’t be surprised if you have to search.
Where to Look
Start with your car insurance agent. If the insurer they represent has a policy, you’ve hit a home run. If not, start calling other insurance agents or contact your state’s insurance board.
Once you find someone who will insure your scooter, be sure to request coverage for liability (which includes bodily injury and property damage), medical payments, and collision. These should cover any expenses that arise if you have an accident.
Tell them if you wear a helmet or take other safety precautions. There may be a discount available.
Ask if they have a bundle option. Insurers often give a discount for clients who insure both their cars with them or insure their vehicles and their home. You never know. They might offer a discount if you add on your scooter insurance.
Rates vary from insurer to insurer, but you can expect a very affordable quote. Their exposure to risk is minimal. It costs under $200 to replace a scooter.
What’s the Worst That Can Happen?
If you have an accident that leaves you with a disability, you enter a new arena. If the disability prevents you from working, you will qualify for Social Security benefits. The list of disabilities is long.
If your disability qualifies for Social Security, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare. From that point, Medicare will pay the major portion of your medical bills.
Scooters are a convenient way to get to work, but they’re not a toy. Treat them like a car, but without the oil changes. And be sure to wear your helmet, scoot safely, and no hitchhikers!