Scooters are wonderful.
A speedy, non-motorized form of transportation, their resurgence on the scene has allowed us to zip around towns and cities without even so much as a puff of harmful, polluting emmissions, and get a little bit of exercise while we do it! And what else has been able to pry young people away from TV sets and video games so effectively, and encourage them to get outside and be physically active?
Unfortunately, there is a downside. Since last Christmas's rush of scooter sales, we have seen an alarmingly high number of scooter-related injuries popping up in emergency rooms around the world. The vast majority of these scooter accidents involve those under the age of 15. And worst of all, with but a little attention paid to basic scooter safety, the vast majority of those mishaps could and would have been prevented.
The fact is, scooters are like any other piece of sporting equipment; they can be used and used safely, but you need to take proper precautions. Here are a few easily digestible guidelines for scooter safety that everyone who uses scooters should observe:
TOP SCOOTER SAFETY TIPS
ALWAYS use a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads.
This is a small investment - only about $35 - and can instantly eliminate almost two-thirds of possible scooter accidents, including most of the most serious ones. In many states, provinces and regions throughout the world, these are required by law!
Children under eight should always be supervised when using scooters.
Almost a third of all scooter-related injuries and accidents involve children under the age of eight. As everyone knows, scooters are capable of traveling very quickly, and children that age do not always have the judgement or coordination to handle these high speeds.
Use scooters in a safe places.
Cars and scooters don't mix, especially for younger riders. Smooth, paved surfaces are best - avoid bumpy, uneven, wet or rocky ones. Schoolyards, parks, paved trails are examples of safe places to "scoot"! And, on sidewalks, be especially careful for pedestrians, who always have the right of way.
Always observe the basic rules of the road anywhere you use scooters.
As scooters can travel as fast as many other types of vehicles, motorized and non-motorized, they too must observe the rules of the road. These include:
- Stop at every stop sign. Look left, right, and left again before proceeding.
- Stop at the end of the driveway. Look left, right, and left before entering the street.
- Use proper hand signals.
- Obey traffic signs and signals.
Do not ride a scooter at night.
When it is dark out, there are just too many things that can easily upset your balance and cause you to fall. Therefore, no one should ride scooters at night.