How to ride a scooter safely

How to ride a scooter safely

The number of electric scooter users killed on the roads of France continues to increase. To avoid being the victim of an accident, it is advisable to master the highway code dedicated to this type of vehicle and to ensure that your scooter is in good condition before hitting the road with it.

The latest road safety figures are nevertheless generally encouraging, with a drop in road deaths of 3% in 2023, according to the provisional report on road accidents in 2023 based on estimates from the National Interministerial Safety Observatory. road (ONISR). In 2023, 3,170 people lost their lives on the roads of mainland France, compared to 3,267 in 2022. All categories of road users show declining mortality. All except one, that of users of motorized personal transport vehicles (EDPM). Last year, 42 scooter riders died, compared to 35 a year earlier. Note that 640 others were seriously injured, a figure up 7% in one year.

Know the highway code dedicated to scooters

However, the highway code is now perfectly clear on what you are allowed to do or not do with your scooter. Thus, since September 1, 2023, you must now be at least 14 years old to have the right to drive one, compared to 12 years previously. On the other hand, there is no question of carrying a passenger with you, it is completely prohibited.

Just like it is not allowed to exceed 25 km/h in town and to ride on sidewalks if you are riding an electric scooter (you must take the roads and cycle paths). If you are riding a scooter without a motor, you can use the sidewalks, provided you ride at a moderate speed (6 km/h).

Don’t forget to wear a helmet

While headphones are strongly recommended (but not yet mandatory), headphones and hand-held smartphones are not permitted. Finally, day or night, it is better to wear reflective clothing or have retro-reflective equipment to be seen by other road users. Today, each scooter must also be equipped with front and rear position lights and a horn.

To avoid having an accident, you should also regularly check the quality of your equipment, from tire pressure to lighting, including the proper functioning of the brakes and the battery. Finally, do not hesitate to sometimes tighten the bolts, so that there is no play and therefore risk of breakage.

As for the helmet, you are spoiled for choice in the existing offer for cyclists or even motorcyclists. In town, it is preferable to opt for a cycling helmet, light and ventilated, while if you are more used to traveling on large, fast roads, it is better to bring a jet or full-face helmet, usually reserved scooter riders and bikers. Your speed actually determines your appropriate level of protection.