Electric scooters have become ubiquitous on the streets of Westwood — and everywhere else. Earlier this year, UCLA researchers reported results of a study in which they found that people involved in scooter accidents sometimes are injured badly enough to demand emergency treatment. Tarak Trivedi, MD, is among the UCLA physicians who might treat these patients in the ED. For UCLA Health employees who might enjoy zipping around on an electric scooter, he offers these eight essential safe-riding tips.
- Head injuries are common so always wear a helmet.
- Check the brakes every time you ride, and make sure the steering handle is stable and the baseboard is not cracked.
- Use both hands to control the scooter at all times. Losing control is easy when you ride with only one hand.
- Avoid riding if roads are wet. Scooters are more likely to slip on wet pavement.
- Keep your eyes on the road ahead of you at all times to avoid riding over potholes or other obstacles. It is easy for a scooter’s small wheels to get caught in a moderately sized pothole.
- After riding, park your scooter out of the path of pedestrian traffic. People with disabilities have tripped over scooters left in the middle of the sidewalk and been injured.
- Avoid riding downhill on steep hills. If it’s unavoidable, make sure to engage the brakes the whole way down.
- Follow all local road laws, use bike lanes and assume that drivers will not see you until you have established eye contact.