There have been controversies about parents who take their kids on their electric scooters. It’s time we dive deeper into the matter and settle once and for all, whether it’s fine or just a total no-go.
It’s not advisable to carry a kid on your electric scooter as it is designed for riding solo. It’s also obvious that having more than one person control the scooter’s motion will lead to a disaster.
In this article, we will discuss the major factors that contribute to the said danger. Also, we will weigh in on common arguments adults use to defend taking their kids on e-scooters.
Throwing off the Balance
Balance is everything in riding e-scooters. Having another person with you on it adds another variable into that equation.
The common age for kids taken on e-scooters by their parents is around 5. That is a fresh phase for the development of a toddler’s physical balance and coordination, so they’re bound to make small but stability-disruptive movements.
It’s not enough that they don’t act playfully. They have to be completely still, or else you’d have to carry the missing bit of the equilibrium the entire time.
Factor in unforeseen road situations, and you’ve got yourself plenty of things to handle at once. Just think of the accidents from having someone sit on bicycle handlebars or hitch by standing on the back tires.
You don’t want that to happen to you, especially to your kid.
Considering Weight Limits
Weight plays a huge role in e-scooter safety. Weight limits are imposed on vehicles like this to reduce impact in collision cases.
Also, manufacturers set maximum weight capacity to avoid burning out the motor of the product. The materials used in e-mobility products are also load-sensitive that even heavy groceries can send you flipping in the air while on the road.
That is why making sure the solo rider’s weight is compatible with the scooter is important. If you’re too small for the model, you’d struggle to manage it.
When you put two bodies for weight consideration, you risk breaking your unit, overwhelming the operating system, and getting onto a long list of possible accidents.
Here are the numbers to paint a clearer picture for you:
|Average e-scooter weight limit||120 – 220 lbs (54 – 100 kg)|
|Maximum weight capacity of powerful electric scooters with large motors (1000+ watts)||250 – 275 lbs (113 – 125 kg)|
|The average weight of a 5-year-old kid||41 lbs (19 kg)|
|The average weight of an adult||137 lbs (62 kg)|
So you have an estimated total of 178 lbs (81 kg) on an e-scooter when you have a toddler and adult riding it. That goes along the middle of the average e-scooter mass limit.
It doesn’t sound so bad when put that way. An extra rider on the scooter will always increase the risk of throwing off the balance on the vehicle, no matter how much they weigh.
You could be using the impressive Swagtron Swagger 5 Recertified foldable scooter that has a maximum capacity of 320 lbs (145 kg) and still gets harmed if it’s directed by two different people at once.
Weight is a significant element in the sense that it’s about the product’s stability. Overloading the e-scooter comes up with grave consequences.
So adding that to factors regarding how the vehicle is driven proposes concerning scenarios for both you and your kid.
It’s Safer for Kids to Ride their Own Scooters than Ride E-Scooters with Adults
Many parents have the impression that kids’ scooters are more unsafe since the children are left to steer them on their own. It is then easy to assume that e-scooters are not high-risk since adults are in charge of them.
However, children’s’ scooters do not go on main roads and are way lighter to handle. That is why accidents linked to e-scooters are more alarming than toy scooter mishaps.
A kid could rely on a helmet and protective gear when playing with their scooters. These things won’t provide the same defense against road casualties.
Falling off a scooter in an open space is not the same as being hit by a bigger vehicle even when you are equipped with protection in both instances. Parents should be more mindful of the huge difference between toy scooters and e-scooters.
E-scooters are built to match main road conditions, so they are fast enough to throw a little kid off but pretty vulnerable around cars. Push scooters or kids’ scooters do not have the same speed and are definitely not even allowed in traffic.
So the purpose of the two are is what sets them apart, especially in terms of its safety for the little ones.
The Truth about E-Scooter Child Carriers/Seats
The availability of child carriers for e-scooters doesn’t change anything that was mentioned above. Child carriers only serve as a platform for the kids so they are not standing on the same level as you are on the scooter.
It allows them to have a better grip on the stem, but it doesn’t keep them steady. There are also saddle-type models, which you can argue as safe.
However, you would have to set up an adult seat as well, which doesn’t work with all scooter types. This setup is also not any more secure than the other.
Regardless of what child carrier is used or whether they aren’t even used, there are still moms taking their toddlers to school with an e-scooter. That doesn’t change the fact that there are now 8 deaths and 1500 cases of injuries, including paralysis, associated with the e-mobility product.
One of the recorded deaths is of a 5-year-old boy who was on the vehicle with his mother. Reports say that he fell off when they were hit by a car.
That’s a pretty accurate outcome of the possibilities and numerical figures we’ve presented, right?
Laws about Adults Riding with Kids on E-scooters
There are still no solidified laws about riding e-scooters alone, let alone this particular case. Many institutions and cities are having discussions about banning these vehicles altogether.
E-scooter companies are hopeful that those are just part of the transition phase in this innovation. However, the concern for kids riding these scooters alone or with adult supervisors calls for action.
Some states have already implemented laws that only riders aged at least 16 or 18 can operate these e-mobility devices. Now, the same places are dealing with the possible harms of permitted riders who take kids with them on the ride.
This unstoppable activity has prompted the likes of Nashville, Tennessee’s Mayor to ask the city’s attorneys to draft a legislative ban on the vehicles. Setting regulations for e-scooters is not that easy, though.
There are still no set guidelines on using this new mode of transport. In addition, “Safety requirements for rentable scooters are based on an honor system,” says Jordan Harlan, a partner in Harlan Law in San Diego, California.
This is a common side-effect of every revolutionary trend whose original intention is to solve a common problem. E-scooters would either be banned or fall under restrictive regulatory compliances that might only defeat its primary purpose.
What’s clear for us now is that we’re rooting for a policy against adults who take children on e-scooters.
The Right Age for Kids to Ride Electric Scooters
There isn’t a law regarding how old kids need to be to ride e-scooters. Still, experts recommend that parents only allow their kids to use these vehicles if they’re already above 8 years old.
It is highly advised that children from 8 to 10 stick to e-scooters designed just for them, too. There are also battery-powered scooters for younger age groups, but they are too small to classify under the type in question.
Some kids from the age of 8 to 10 may already find an interest in getting on the adult e-scooters. So this is when parents should be more firm in keeping their kids on the model suitable for them.
There are instances where some parents teach their kids around that age to ride road e-scooters. Never risk it.
Instead, ask them to join you for a little stroll on your own rides. Making them feel like their e-scooter can keep up with yours will do the work.
Electric scooters may have originated from the same concept of children’s scooters, but the former is indeed more prone to serious risks. These vehicles will always be solo rider types.
E-scooters are designed to escape traffic, not to safely take your kid to school. Some parents may reason out that they just want to take their kids for a quick spin, off the busy roads.
That sounds like it could work, but would you risk it when your kid’s excitement could affect the steering of the vehicle? It’s better to keep your kids away from your e-scooters.
Just get them their own toy scooter if you want them to enjoy the thrill of it. That will also help them improve their balance without setting them up for major injuries.
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