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Be careful with e-scooter trips in winter

In the past year, e-scooters have established themselves as an additional alternative in local transport in many cities - despite the corona pandemic. "During the hard lockdown phases, people were less on the move, which the e-scooter rental companies also felt," said Frank Schneider, mobility expert at the TÜV Association (VdTÜV). "Also, mobility behavior has changed in general. Many people are currently avoiding local public transport for fear of infection with Covid-19." Instead, they are increasingly traveling by bike, car, or e-scooter. "In winter, however, trips with electric scooters are not without risk," emphasized Schneider. "Just like bicycles or motorcycles, e-scooters are single-track vehicles.

 

How dangerous is e-scooter driving in winter?

 

E-scooters can also be driven in winter. But it always depends on the weather and the current road conditions. In the cold season, it is dark for a long time, rain or fog can impair the view and it is often slippery on roads and paths. Especially on cycle paths or cobblestone streets, it can quickly become slippery when there is frost, snow, or ice. E-scooter users should therefore pay attention to the weather conditions in winter.

 

In which weather conditions should e-scooters no longer drive?

 

If there is heavy snow or ice, you should refrain from driving e-scooters and switch to other means of transport. In these cases, the landlords should also lock their e-scooters immediately to avoid accidents. The rental companies can use their smartphone apps to inform their customers about local extreme weather conditions such as black ice and temporarily suspend the rental.

 

Which technical requirements should e-scooters meet in winter?

 

There are no special technical requirements for winter, for example, special winter tires, for e-scooters. Regardless of the time of year, the TÜV Association believes that e-scooters should be equipped with indicators. This is not yet mandatory. If e-scooter drivers signal a change of direction with a hand signal, they have to let go of the handlebars. This affects the driving stability and increases the risk of a fall. E-scooter drivers should also wear a helmet inside. But helmets are not required. Occasionally, rental companies have already started equipping their e-scooters with indicators, larger tires for greater driving stability, and a helmet. These examples should catch on.

 

What do e-scooter drivers have to consider in winter?

 

Driving an e-scooter is not difficult, but it takes practice. Beginners in particular: when using it for the first time, you should take your time and practice driving on safe terrain. For example, parking spaces or side streets with little traffic are ideal. E-scooter drivers should also pay attention to their clothing. Good visibility is an important safety factor, especially in the dark season. With light-colored clothing, reflective accessories, or a safety vest, users of e-scooters are recognized much earlier, especially by drivers. Also, the clothing should be sufficiently warm and protect against the wind. It's even colder on e-scooters than on a bike, as the riders hardly move inside.

 

About the TÜV Association: The Association of TÜV eV (VdTÜV) represents the political and professional interests of its members towards politics, administration, business, and the public. The association is committed to technical and digital security for products, systems, and services through independent tests and qualified training. With its members, the TÜV association aims to maintain a high level of technical security in our society and to create trust in the digital world.

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