E-scooters in the rain: what to keep in mind
It has been a drizzly morning in June when I was getting ready to hop on my e-scooter and get to work. Well-equipped (I thought) I even hesitated for a second if the weather would worsen and I should take the train instead. In the end it is just 8km, not more than 25min – it should be fine. I put on my reflective jacket, improve the fastening of the helmet (at the time I could not have known that it will be a life-saving idea) and got on going.
I am a rather experience rider – over 1 year of practice - firstly with shared fleet and soon after with my personal device. I have even participated in the training. Overall, way over 1000km ridden. I also knew the route extremely well as I was taking it every day back and forth. As I was on the way, the rain was getting more intense yet far from a heavy torrent.
I was paying all attention – I have adapted the speed, accounted for reduced visibility, tried not to splash the water over passing by pedestrians. It was not even a first time that I got to ride in the rain. I knew that for some time already there is a construction on one stretch that prevents me from bypassing iron plates that are on the cycling path (which never really encountered my trust). Long story short – there were no surprises at all.
However, that morning, one of these iron plates made that the scooter slipped, without any particularly sharp movement – it was just wet. It took not even a second that my head hit the road (gladly no car has been passing by at that moment). My backpack flew somewhere, and I tried to get myself back on the cycling path. I first check that my head was fine as it seemed that it took the hardest hit but beside being dizzy, no major injuries Overall, some scratches on the helmet, a bruise on the knee popping up through the whole in the pants, little blood here and there, and material damages – could have been worse.
I have not gone to the emergency room as it did not feel needed at that moment. However, during the day my neck started to hurt, and walking became impossible because of the knee. Few days and medical examinations after it turned out that as much as I was focused on protecting my head, it was the knee that got rather seriously injured. It took two weeks to be able to walk without crutches and now it has been more than 6 months since the accident that I still cannot run, ride a bike, or even take a long walk.
If I was wearing the knee protection during the accident, by now it would probably be an anecdote of how rain exceeded my riding skills – instead it has been months (and probably few more to go) that I will be paying for the negligence and overconfidence.
Knee protection naturally came as a mandatory addition to my rider set. The helmet went to trash and has been replaced by a new one (pay attention: the helmet that was hit once, shall be always replaced!). Ever since I have not ridden in the rain but if I would have to, I will use wrists and elbow protection as well.
The key lesson for myself: if I would not have had a helmet on, I could have been dead instead. So, think twice next time before jumping on the scooter if you hesitate how would the yellow jacket match the outfit or if the helmet would not damage your hair – alive is good looking enough.
The key intake for you: mobility is not enough – SAFE mobility requires appropriate preparation and through introduction to any transport mode, that is new to your people – an e-scooter, a bike, or a car – you cannot afford to put your employees at risk. However they move, make sure they arrive to the office sound and safe.