Electric skateboards offer an environmentally friendly way to travel and commute, so it's no surprise they've rocketed in popularity, but are you allowed to use a cell phone when riding one?
As governments worldwide pledge their commitment to preserving the planet and lowering our carbon footprint, e skateboards are becoming a revolutionary form of electronic transport.
While these ingenious devices offer so much convenience and sustainability, there will always be some safety issues. However, these safety issues aren't with the electric longboards themselves, but the way e-skateboard riders use them.
One of the most significant issues with Electric Skateboard safety is using cell phones, as many people believe they're not dangerous when riding. How true is this? Are you allowed to use your cell phone when riding a motorized skateboard?
How dangerous are using cell phones while riding e-boards?
As electric skateboards are relatively new, there isn't much data available to evaluate how dangerous cell phones are for riders. However, we can look at other modes of transportation to get an idea of cell phone-related incidents.
Careless and dangerous cycling statistics
Cyclists need both hands to operate their bikes, but that doesn't mean people always prioritize safety. A study in Groningen showed that around 2.2% of cyclists talked on their phones while cycling, and 0.6% texted. However, only 0.5% admitted they used their cell phone when an accident occurred.
These statistics show that even though cell phones are dangerous and can result in accidents, people still use them, and when they do, they're more likely to have an accident.
While many people know that using a cell phone can result in distracted riding, there seems to be an air of nonchalance among e-skateboard users.
Driving and using a cell phone
NHTSA highlights the real dangers of driving while using a cell phone. Their research shows that distracted driving led to 3,142 deaths in 2020 alone.
Some states prohibit cell phone use while driving, while others restrict it to younger drivers, meaning the laws are ambiguous.
Because each state enacts its own laws regarding cell phones, some states have higher accident rates than others. While some states, such as California, have low fatality rates, New Mexico, Kentucky, and Louisiana are among the states with the highest distracted driving accident rates.
Let us look at some of the risks of cell phone use on an electric skateboard.
You'll put vulnerable road users at risk
E-skateboard and bike riders need to take responsibility as their actions can impact other road users. As electronically assisted bikes and e-skateboards travel at higher speeds than pedestrians, protecting vulnerable road users is the rider's duty.
You become distracted when you speak or text on a cell phone, which can result in accidents. Bike lanes are also an issue because if you don't look where you're going, you could crash into a cyclist, resulting in severe injuries for both parties.
Lack of control
When you use a handheld cell phone, you won't correctly control your skateboard. Not only are e-skateboards heavier than traditional skateboards, but they also require two hands to operate, and using one hand will inevitability restrict your control.
If you go over a pothole or are riding on a bumpy road, a slight obstruction could knock you off the skateboard, causing a severe head injury.
You could also crash into a pedestrian or another road user, so it's always important to protect yourself and keep a firm grasp on both handlebars.
You could face a prison sentence
Imagine if you lose attention while riding, resulting in another person's severe injury. The consequences of those actions could result in hefty fines and prison terms - especially as the laws surrounding e-skateboards continue to evolve.
As the laws continue to evolve, we might see more updates to cell phone laws for cyclists and e-skateboard riders. However, there will probably need to be more research into the long-term risks of cell phone use when operating electric transportation.
The steps e-skateboard riders can take to stay safe
There's no doubt that electric skateboards are safe in their design and should be promoted as sustainable and convenient modes of transportation. However, brands that design and make e-skateboards must warn users of the potential dangers of distracted riding.
At Veymax Skateboard, we designed our Veymax X3 Series to be the ultimate mode of transportation for city riding and commuters. The lightweight model makes for a superior ride, and it's a highly beginner-friendly skateboard at a great price, and it's packed with excellent features too.
There will always be negative press about electric skateboards, as they're a new mode of transportation. However, if everyone contributes to maintaining road safety, we can look forward to a better future, with more opportunities to travel cheaply, sustainably and safely.