The first kick scooters were boxes with boards and wheels attached so kids could ride them. Kids then removed the box and kept the “skateboard”. That gave them the freedom to do tricks, but it also brought the risk of injury.
Others kept the flat panel and wheels and added a solid handlebar so they could kick to propel the scooter without much risk of falling off. Modern scooters are generally foot-powered, but there are electric versions, as well.
A common question people ask is: are kick scooters safe? If you’re talking about an unpowered kick scooter, the answer is a definite yes. Your kid is safer on the kick scooter than they are on roller skates or a skateboard.
First of all, they can get off if they are tired and walk normally. That includes stepping around potholes or cracks in the sidewalk. And they can drop one leg down at any time to stop or turn.
They have more control than if they were on a skateboard. Yet they can go as fast as someone on a skateboard or skates. It is that speed that worries many parents.
Note that your kid will go as fast or faster on a bicycle, and the bike will be on the street with cars. That’s a greater danger.
What Is an Electric Kick Scooter?
For kids who grew up riding kick scooters, gas scooters offered greater speed and the ability to ride without having to kick the ground. The gas-powered engines, though, require maintenance, refueling and meeting an ever more stringent list of environmental regulations.
At the same time, batteries have become more energy-dense thanks to rare earth minerals that act like massive capacitors. Like modern cell phone batteries, they charge rather quickly, hold a lot of energy in a small container, and dissipate steadily.
This led to electric scooters being routine long before “hoverboards” – de facto electric skateboards – hit the shelves.
An electric kick scooter is a kick scooter with an additional electric power source you can recharge. These models allow you to ride it, but it takes up a fraction of the space of a Segway or moped.
The kick scooter is more mobile than larger devices. For example, you can take the kick scooter on sidewalks though a moped is off-limits. It is as fun and convenient to ride as a bike, but you don’t have to come up with a way to secure it.
Nor are you limited to the road or bike lanes. The electric kick scooter can be folded up and carried into the office along with your bag. It may not take you as fast as riding a bike at full speed, but you don’t have to change clothes to wear it and won’t be left hot and sweaty after riding it, either.
Are Electric Kick Scooters Safe?
Electric kick scooters are often able to go faster than kick scooters. More importantly, it can sustain these speeds when you’re tired thanks to the battery and motors. A full charged high-end electric kick scooter can travel forty miles. But is it safe for you as a rider?
An electric kick scooter for adults can top out at 20 miles per hour. For comparison, racing bicyclists can manage 25 miles per hour on flat terrain. However, you have to be in peak form to do this, much less keep it up.
On the other hand, an electric kick scooter could go that fast and sustain it all the way to work and back assuming no interruptions. And you are as free to take the biking trails as sidewalks and roads. Note that you can slow the electric scooter to whatever speed you want, so you could maintain the same speed as a jogger all the way to work and back.
Are electric kick scooters safe for your children? The short answer is yes. Electric kick scooters for adults differ in several ways. One difference is that adult electric kick scooters have a weight limit of 150 to 250 pounds, while the child scooter may top out at 100 pounds.
The other difference is speed. An electric kick scooter for children might have a top speed of 10 miles per hour, half that of an adult scooter. This reduces the odds of getting hurt.
They can’t go so fast they can’t navigate, and they won’t have the same momentum if they trip or hit something. This is also as fast as they can ride on a bike if they’re in good shape. Yet they won’t get hurt as badly as could happen if they went flying over bike handlebars.
What Are the Benefits of Electric Kick Scooters?
Electric kick scooters are a viable alternative to walking or taking a short bike ride. They cost much less than a motorcycle and somewhat less than a moped.
It can be recharged via a wall outlet instead of a high end charging port for an electric car. And if the battery goes dead, you can push it with your feet like a traditional kick scooter.
You’re never stuck and left calling a tow truck or cab because your electric scooter ran out of power. Furthermore, those things are harder to push home than a car, and there are fewer services to help you than if your car was stranded.
A kick scooter doesn’t require a license the way riding a motorcycle does. An electric kick scooter doesn’t require you to even pass the simpler driving test necessary to drive a moped.
A kick scooter doesn’t have a minimum rider age the way electric scooters do. (In some places, you have to be 14 to 16 to drive an electric sit-down scooter.)
That eliminates the need to complete a safety course or pay for licensing. While it is wise to wear a helmet while on an electric kick scooter, most areas don’t make that a requirement. For comparison, you can get a ticket in many places for not wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle.
Kick scooters are faster than walking, and that shorter commute time is one reason why they’re popular in cities with a large pedestrian population.
A side benefit of the kick scooter is that you can carry it upstairs or escalators, giving you more flexibility in the routes you take than riding a bike or moped. You can go up to skywalks and kick along those as long as you’re careful of other pedestrians.