The use of skateboards and bikes on college campuses has been going on for a long time, as they are cheaper than a car and faster than walking. While I am supportive of finding alternate methods to get to class due to the parking challenges, there are certain risks that come with these modes of transportation. There are many times where I am walking to class and, suddenly, an electric skateboard weaves its way in and out of students going 15 miles per hour. Aside from nearly giving me a heart attack, there is also a risk to other students as well as the rider.
Specifically concerning electric skateboards, the maximum speed is about 20 miles per hour without any adjustments and when you combine this with a group of students walking 3 miles per hour, there are naturally going to be problems. Any mode of transportation requires control because human beings make incorrect decisions which can lead to very bad accidents. There have already been cases in which accidents have resulted in serious injury or even death. Even if the rider is not at fault, they have to be careful as they are going at dangerous speeds with virtually nothing connecting them to the board itself.
Unfortunately, electric skateboards are not suited for busy sidewalks or bike lanes which is unfortunate as that is the standard we have now. The best thing for people who ride skateboards and bikes to do is to just be careful. Even if you are running late to class, going 20 miles per hour on a curving sidewalk is not worth the risk. All students want to avoid accidents and the best way to do that is to be aware of your surroundings and take the necessary precautions. While it is almost impossible to hear the skateboards themselves, make sure to look if you plan on crossing the sidewalk so you don’t walk into the path of one of them and get hit.
Regardless of any personal feelings, there is a glaring safety issue with electric skateboards. Not only is the speed a little excessive, but, combined with a lack of skill or knowledge, they could spell disaster. According to Heelside Chill, there are a couple of things a rider has to look out for, No. 1 is speed wobbles, which can be caused by a lack of strength or balance. No. 2 is the tendency for bearings to seize up if the rider does not oil them or if they ride in the rain or through a puddle. Another horrible scenario would be if your brakes stopped working altogether which can happen if the regenerative brakes absorb as much energy as they can. There are also the more obvious dangers of being hit by a car or falling and hitting your head. Both are dangerous and since electric skating is relatively new, not a lot of people know how to react around it. Whether you are on a bicycle or a skateboard, there is a need to be extra careful around traffic and other people. The fact that, in electric skateboarding, you could be flung off the board going over 20 miles per hour is incentive enough to be careful.
Already the statistics for accidents involving bicycles tell any rider that they need to be careful. They are not as protected on bikes and certainly not on electric skateboards which means it is important to take precautions in case of an accident. Even something as simple as wearing a helmet could drastically change the outcome in the event a rider hits their head. Heelside chill also has a statistic that says over 75 percent of cyclist deaths are from head injuries and 88 percent could have been avoided if they had worn a helmet. Electric skateboarding reaches high speeds just like bikes except there is less control and less connecting you to the contraption.
These two modes of transportation are among the best as they are quick, cheap and relatively easy, yet they also come with a responsibility to pay close attention to everything around you. In all seriousness, there are many dangers for electric skateboarders and bicyclists, and it is important for all riders to recognize this and take the necessary precautions. Even just wearing a helmet will greatly improve your overall safety, regardless of whether or not it’s cool. All bicyclists and electric skateboarders should be careful on campus because sometimes, accidents happen but being smart and prepared could make all the difference in the world.
Information from https://heelsidechill.com/electric-skateboard-danger/