Electric Scooter at Night: Is It Safe? Tips for Riding in the Dark in 2024

Electric Scooter at Night: Is It Safe? Tips for Riding in the Dark in 2024

Nearly 50% of electric scooter accidents happen between 10pm and 6am. Are you prepared to beat the odds? 

John, a carefree 32-year-old from California, loved zipping around on his electric scooter at night. He never used the electric scooter lights  – why bother on these familiar streets, plus why waste the battery power? The scooter was his “Night Fury”, and he reveled in the rush of speed.

One night, a car swerved out of nowhere. John yanked the electric scooter, but it was too late. The car clipped him, sending him tumbling to the ground. He was lucky to be alive, just scraped and bruised. The driver never even slowed down.

Lying there on the pavement, John realized how close he'd come to serious injury or even worse — the thought terrified him. His “Night Fury” didn't feel so powerful anymore. He decided things had to change. He'd get a helmet and install the brightest headlight he could find. Not only that, but he'd take the road seriously, because one close call was more than enough.

The internet is filled with such stories. Some of them involve alcohol, some just recklessness, but all of them have something in common, a tragic ending. Unfortunately, most people come round only after a good scare, but why wait until then?. Take every measure at hand to minimize the risk of accidents. Read on and learn from others’ mistakes.

The appeal of nighttime rides

Riding an electric scooter at night offers a captivating experience. The city streets we know from our daytime endeavors transform after dark into a completely different place. The cool air provides a refreshing contrast to the scorching sun during the day. The gentle hum of the wheels and the sense of effortless movement create a feeling of freedom. What’s not to love about it? Sadly, it’s not as bucolic as we’d like to think, unless you go out well-prepared for what may happen. 

The most common dangers of nighttime rides

While electric scooters offer a convenient and fun way to get around, venturing out at night, if not done right, can bring a whole new set of risks than those we expect during the day. The first step to avoiding these dangers is to understand what they are.

Reduced Visibility

Darkness significantly limits rider's ability to see. Potholes, uneven pavement, or debris – easily spotted during the day – become hidden dangers at night. Equally concerning, limited visibility makes the electric scooter and its rider harder for motorists to see, increasing the chance of collisions.

Increased Road Hazards

Even familiar roads carry unpredictable risks in the dark. Pedestrians crossing streets, objects accidentally dropped by other vehicles, or sudden changes in the road surface can all lead to unexpected accidents.

Driver Awareness

Drivers are conditioned to look for larger vehicles with bright headlights. At night, they may not instinctively anticipate the presence of a smaller, less illuminated electric scooter. This lack of awareness puts riders at increased risk of not being seen in time.

Tips for Safe Nighttime Electric Scooter Riding

So, is it or is it not safe to ride an electric scooter at night? The answer is: IT DEPENDS. Even though nighttime is inherently more dangerous than daytime in many respects, there are things you can do to make it a pretty safe experience. 

Essential Gear

  • Front and Rear Lights: Ensure you have a bright front headlight to see the road and a red rear light to make yourself visible to traffic. Brake lights also come in handy when signaling you're about to stop or slow down. Check any local regulations that might specify minimum brightness. It's also a good idea to have neon LED strips or other bright elements to stand out.
  • Reflective Gear: Vests, stickers, or clothing with reflective materials dramatically increase your visibility to drivers. Don't try to look like The Dark Knight on a mission, it's enough that most electric scooter riders already wear black from top to bottom.
  • Helmet: There is one thing you should take as an example from Batman, namely his protective gear. No matter what, always wear a helmet designed for scooter or bike use. Head injuries are a major risk in accidents. When push comes to shove, wearing it may save your life. According to recent studies, they account for about 60% of all injuries. Additionally, there are other pieces of your suit of armor you could wear for more safety — like elbow pads, knee pads, and gloves.

Learn more about scooter safety gear and protective clothing.

Smart Riding Practices

  • Route Planning: Choose well-lit roads or designated paths whenever possible. Avoid isolated areas or poorly maintained streets.
  • Defensive Riding: Assume drivers may not see you. Anticipate their actions, make eye contact when possible, and leave plenty of space for error.
  • Speed Control: Reduce your speed at night, giving yourself more time to react to unexpected situations.
  • Signaling: Use turn signals to indicate turns and lane changes, just like cars would.  

Legal Considerations for Nighttime Riding

Before riding your electric scooter at night, check your local regulations. Some provinces ban night riding completely, while others require specific lights and may have speed restrictions. Understanding the law is essential for a safe and legal ride. For instance, your state might mandate a bright front headlight and a red rear reflector. It might also limit your nighttime speed to below the daytime limit. 

Learn more about laws and regulations for electric scooter riders in Canada in this article.

Night ride checklist

  • Wear a helmet: This should always be your top priority, day or night, rain or shine. 
  • Check battery and electronics: Ensure your scooter is in working order and has enough battery power for your planned route.
  • Light up your ride: Turn on all scooter lights, consider adding reflectors or neon LED strips, and wear reflective clothing whenever possible.
  • Plan your route: Opt for well-lit areas and safer paths that you know, and avoid unknown areas.

Apollo by night 

When it comes to ensuring safety during night rides, we’re dedicated to implementing top-notch lighting systems in each of our models.

Moving on to the Apollo Air, its 360-degree lighting system is further accentuated by a powerful headlight and handlebar turn signals, maximizing visibility for the rider's safety.

The Apollo Go boasts a signature 360-degree lighting system, featuring five strategically placed light sources. This design guarantees visibility from all angles, even during turns. Noteworthy are the front running lights, emitting a bright and unmistakable glow, along with the stem light, which commands attention effectively.

For the Apollo City 2024, the emphasis on 360-degree lighting ensures comprehensive visibility from all directions, enhancing safety during night rides.

The Apollo Phantom prioritizes safety with front turn signals, a formidable 1000-lumen headlight, and rear signals, providing unparalleled visibility at all times. Its 360-degree lighting system ensures that the rider remains visible from every angle.

Finally, the Apollo Pro sets itself apart with its customizable lighting options, offering 360-degree visibility from up to 300 feet away. The inclusion of animated indicators on both the handlebar and body allows for confident turn signaling, while the brilliant 1000-lumen front headlight illuminates dark roads, significantly improving nighttime visibility for riders. 

Finishing up

When we say that electric scooter night rides are dangerous, we don't mean you should avoid them. We mean you should take every precaution on hand and treat the situation with all due seriousness.

The Apollo Scooters team is also a fan of night rides, which is why we strive to make this experience as safe as possible.

Sources

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001457521004978
  2. https://findingspress.org/article/36195-the-chance-of-getting-struck-by-a-car-on-an-e-scooter-is-twice-as-high-at-night

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Table of contents

    1. The appeal of nighttime rides
    2. The most common dangers of nighttime rides
    3. Reduced Visibility
    4. Increased Road Hazards
    5. Driver Awareness
    6. Tips for Safe Nighttime Electric Scooter Riding
    7. Essential Gear
    8. Smart Riding Practices
    9. Legal Considerations for Nighttime Riding
    10. Night ride checklist
    11. Apollo by night 
    12. Finishing up
    13. Sources