At Unagi, looking out for the safety of each and every rider that steps onto one of our scooters is our highest priority. Safety is an important topic for riding any form of transportation and we want to highlight the importance of scooter safety on your brand new Unagi!
Make sure to wear a helmet, be aware of your surroundings, and don't ride faster than you are comfortable with. We have three different speed modes, so make sure to operate at a slower setting if you don't feel confident at higher speeds.
While we advise keeping your hands on the handlebars, you can signal to traffic whether you intend to stop (raise your hand), turn left (put out your left hand), or right (putting out your right hand).
Mishandling and incorrectly riding a scooter can result in serious injury. We'd like to remind you of the differences in design between scooters and bicycles, as many people are under the impression that a scooter can endure the same riding style as bikes. With much smaller wheels on the Unagi, riders can be bucked by relatively small potholes or cracks on the road.
The typical electric scooter has wheels about a third the size of a bicycle. That means they’re more likely to be jarred by obstacles and risk higher impact when caution isn't used.
“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 curb lip into a parking lot: “If you hit it at the wrong angle at 18 mph, that can be catastrophic,” he said.
For comparison, the typical bicycle has pneumatic or air-filled tires nearly three times a scooter tire’s size. This means you should take caution while riding your scooter and take care to go around obstacles that can be avoided.
What to look out for while riding your Unagi
Always be aware of your surroundings. 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. It's better to be safe than sorry!
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. A bicycle can handle curbs due to the much larger diameter wheels. 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.
Always be on the lookout for potholes. They can have the same effect as a curb drop, with the added bonus of your front wheel getting planted in them, guaranteeing that you and the pavement getting intimate.
Always avoid pools of water. A nasty pothole might be hiding inside. Again, it's better to be safe than sorry for both you and your scooter!
*Any damage to an Unagi scooter from hitting a curb, riding off a curb, or accidental damage is not covered by the warranty*
Tips for riding in colder weather
If you're planning to ride your scooter during winter, just make sure to follow these safety precautions:
- Make sure that your battery isn’t 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)
- Make sure you change your riding style. As conditions and seasons change you must adapt your riding style appropriately. Don't ride like you would in summer to avoid the risks of crashing.
What can I do to improve my riding style?
- Ride steady (without sudden movements or aggressive maneuvers)
- Ride defensively (expect others to make mistakes and correct other people's mistakes)
- Avoid riding through deep water
- On crossroads make eye contact with other participants (make sure they see you)
- If you can’t avoid riding in the dark, make yourself visible with lights or reflective clothing