Unagi Safe Riding Tips
Safe riding practices are essential in order to avoid injury to yourself and others when riding an electric scooter. Riders are at risk from cars and other vehicles, as well as unsafe road and weather conditions. Carelessness or recklessness can result in serious injury. Take it from Dr. Sam Torbati, co-chair of Emergency Medicine at Cedars-Sinai, who cautions, “if you fall, you’re going to get hurt. It’s a fun vehicle, just remember it can go fast and take some steps to protect yourself.”
Always wear a helmet! First order of business: before you step on the scooter, strap on your helmet. Ensure your helmet fits properly. Have one sized and adjusted at a bike shop. Close-toed shoes are also highly recommended when riding. For additional protection, you might consider safety gear such as knee and elbow pads.
Wear high visibility clothing. Reflective or brightly-colored clothing will help other drivers and riders see you in traffic. This is especially important when riding in low light conditions or at night. Your Unagi is equipped with LED lights, and it is highly recommended that you use them.
Safe Riding Essentials
Familiarize yourself with all of the scooter’s functions. Before you ride, make sure you know how to accelerate and brake, and do so slowly, especially in traffic. It’s important to be mindful of your surroundings at all times and to minimize sudden stops that can result in accidents.
Ride on the street or in bike lanes, not sidewalks or other pedestrian avenues. Watch for potholes, puddles, and large cracks in the pavement. Avoid wet or slippery surfaces. If you must ride in the rain, go slowly and allow extra distance for braking.
Obey traffic laws. Electric scooters can travel as fast as bicycles and share the associated risks. Stop at lights, signs and make sure drivers can see you.
Always ride with two hands.
Don't use headphones or earbuds.
Get rid of distractions and be aware of your surroundings. Put away your phone, lose the coffee, and keep your hands on the handlebars. When riding you should be able to hear what’s going on around you and be prepared to slow down, stop, or steer around pedestrians or obstacles.
No tandem rides. Scooters are one-person vehicles. Do not compromise safety by doubling up on a ride.
No tricks or stunts. Unagi is very well designed to function with both wheels on the ground. Always use ramps to move between sidewalks and streets rather than hopping curbs.
Do not ride your Unagi if you are intoxicated. Riding impaired can pose severe risks to yourself and others.
Don't ride faster than you are comfortable with. There are three different speed modes, so make sure to operate at a slower setting if you don't feel confident at higher speeds.
Ride safe, have fun, and get where you need to go on your Unagi.
What to Look Out for While Riding your Unagi
Always be on the lookout for potholes and large cracks in the road. If the front wheel gets stuck, you and the pavement are guaranteed to get intimate.
Slow down for obstacles, even seemingly tiny ones and avoid them completely if you can. Get off and walk the scooter around them if you have to.
Always avoid pools of water. A nasty pothole might be hiding inside.
Never jump curbs. As cool as it may look, it may completely destroy your Unagi due to misuse and can be a dangerous risk to your safety. Unlike a bicycle, going over a curb with your scooter can cause a nosedive with excessive strain on the handlebar and front wheel assembly, meaning a totaled scooter and possible risk of serious injury.
The Wheels are Smaller than Bikes
Typical electric scooters have wheels about a third the size of bicycles and cannot endure the same riding style. They’re more likely to be jarred by obstacles and risk higher impact when caution isn't used. Riders can be bucked by relatively small potholes or cracks in the road.
“Larger wheels allow you to go over bumps or over holes, or over cracks,” said David King, assistant professor of urban planning at Arizona State University.
He gave the example of trying to ride a small-wheeled scooter over a driveway lip into a parking lot: “If you hit it at a small enough angle at 18 mph, that can be catastrophic,” he said.
Make sure that your battery isn’t too cold before charging.
After every ride bring the scooter to a place where the temperature is above 41° Fahrenheit / 5° Celsius.
Never heat your scooter (if you must, let it gradually warm up).
Adapt your riding style appropriately depending on the conditions. Don't ride like you would in summer.
What can I do to improve my riding style?
Ride steady (without sudden movements or aggressive maneuvers).
Keep your body loose with a tight grip on the handlebars and let your body move with the turbulence.
Lean slightly into your turns.
Ride defensively (expect others to make mistakes and correct for other people's mistakes).
On crossroads make eye-contact with other participants to ensure they see you.
At night, make yourself visible with lights or reflective clothing.