Are Electric Skateboards Safe?
Accidents will happen, that is a fact. They are happening every day, no matter which board we ride. It’s no wonder that when thinking about e-skateboards…are electric skateboards safe?
E-skateboards can move at an impressive speed, there is no steering wheel or handle to hold onto and to help you navigate, plus you’re exposed as vulnerable as you can be during a ride. Still, having all this in mind, the answer to the initial question is - Yes… BUT! - electric skateboards are safe; it all depends on how YOU as an individual ride them.
Of course, if you want to dig and find something dramatic online, you probably will. There were multiple cases where a fun ride on an e-skateboard ended fatally or with serious head injuries. In most of the cases, the riders of these unfortunate events didn’t take necessary precautions. So, the prudent thing would be to focus on the prevention of possible accidents.
Commuting Or Having Fun?
If you are about to buy an electric skateboard and wondering if it is a safe transportation choice, you probably want it for commuting. You might be a beginner with little or no skill in skateboarding. In that case, you should be very careful in selecting the right kind of board for you.
Many e-skateboards have a lot of power and can go very fast. No matter how tempting this might be, really think about whether you need that kind of device for your commuting. Focus on reliable controls, brakes, and comfortable wheels that can take you smoothly even on rougher surfaces. Some boards do fulfill these requirements, and after a little practice, you should be all set up for safe daily rides. Of course, respecting regulations and wearing protective gear is a MUST.
On the other hand, if you’re buying it for fun, the speed is probably one of the features you care about the most, and you probably have some decent skill up your sleeve! In that case, you should be even more careful and choose an area away from the public; ideally, it would be a long, flat, un-used stretch of road or concrete path. The most important thing is to wear a quality sports helmet and certainly consider any elbow/knee padding as well!
Most Common Injuries
Electric skateboards are relatively new to mass adoption. There is no statistical data to back up the answer to - Which are the most frequent injuries among e-skaters? Based on data for similar devices and activities such as skateboarding, longboarding, cycling, and skating, injuries that typically incur during e-board rides are abrasions and bruises; hand, wrist, or shoulder injuries; head injuries; ankle, and knee injuries.
To prevent these injuries, you should wear protective equipment:
- Knee pads
- Elbow pads
...and you should not skimp on it.
You should also be warmed up when stepping on your board to prevent some of the mentioned common injuries such as joint injuries. Suffice it to say that the most dangerous are head injuries and we strongly recommend you to wear a helmet every time! Quick fact:
“Nearly all (97%) cyclists who have died riding were not wearing a helmet.”
One more specific danger connected with e-boards are that that batteries on fire can cause an accident. Lithium-ion batteries are a lot safer than Lithium-Polymer batteries, but lithium-ion batteries can in certain circumstances, catch fire. That primarily occurs when the battery is overcharged or damaged. Always keep this in mind and always follow the instructions that come with your e-board and this risk is significantly reduced.
Extra Tips For A Safer Ride
In order to reduce hazards with e-boarding, you should take some precautionary measures. As mentioned, you should wear adequate protective gear (especially a helmet); you should warm up before riding; you should choose the type of e-board to your needs and skills; you should regularly maintain your e-board and respect all regulations.
Besides these guidelines, there are a few more things you can do to level up your safety during rides:
- Use adequate shoes
- Learn how to fall to minimize injury
- Use reflectors and lights, even in daytime; it assists visibility in traffic
- Ride with friends and make the ride social as well as more safe!
- Pay attention to weather; it’s far less safe to ride in the rain and can damage the e-board as well
- Slow down every time you’re uncertain about something
- Always use common sense! Think clearly and avoid unnecessary hazards or risks