Electric Scooter Safety: Lights, Reflectors, and Turn Signals

Electric Scooter Safety: Lights, Reflectors, and Turn Signals

Apollo City Front Light

Improve Visibility and Your Safety with Electric Scooter Lights, Reflectors, and Turn Signals

Having proper lights on your electric scooter is crucial for ensuring your safety as well as the safety of others on the road. If your scooter does not have adequate stock lighting, installing front and rear lights will help you see the road ahead and make you visible to other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. Add-on lights should be bright enough to be visible from a distance and positioned in a way that they are not obstructed by your body or other accessories.

Adding reflectors to your scooter can also make you stand out in low light. You can attach reflectors to your scooter's frame, wheels, and even your clothing and helmet for maximum visibility. Reflectors come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, including reflective stickers and badges. 

By strategically placing reflectors on your electric scooter and yourself, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and ensure that you are seen by others on the road. Just follow the same rule of thumb as you do with scooter lighting. Place white reflectors on the front of the scooter and red or orange reflectors on the back or sides. 

Learn more about electric scooter safety in our ultimate guide.

Apollo Scooters turn signals 
Image: The Apollo Pro has bright bar-end turn signals to alert drivers 

Turn signals are another important feature that can significantly improve your safety on the road. Just as in a car, turn signals on an electric scooter will inform others of your intentions, allowing them to react accordingly. This is particularly important when making turns or changing lanes in car traffic, but also helps pedestrians and other road users make safe decisions around you.  

If your scooter does not come equipped with turn signals, you can find add-ons that will attach the handlebars. Ideally, you should look to purchase an electric scooter with turn signals, such as the Apollo City (below) or Apollo Pro, which has turn signals mounted on the end of its handlebars for maximum visibility. 

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 Apollo City Rear Suspension
Image: The rear turn signals lights of the Apollo City 

Why Visibility Matters on Scooters, Even in the Daytime

While you might think that visibility is only important at night, it is actually crucial at all times, even in broad daylight. Many accidents involving electric scooters occur during the day when visibility is still compromised due to various factors such as glare from the sun, shadows, and other distractions. 

At dawn or dusk, long shadows from buildings, trees, or other objects can cast dark patches on the road, making it challenging for motorists to spot you. Sudden changes in visibility can lead to unexpected accidents if drivers are not aware of your presence. 

By ensuring that you are visible to others on the road, you reduce the risk of collisions and increase your overall safety. Having proper lighting, reflectors, and turn signals will help you stand out and make it easier for motorists to anticipate your movements. Bright headlights and tail lights can be particularly effective in catching the attention of drivers, even during the daytime, if you’re riding in heavy traffic or when the sun is lower in the sky. 

Additionally, wearing high-visibility clothing can significantly enhance your visibility. Fluorescent colors like bright yellow, orange, or green are highly visible and can make you stand out from the environment. Consider investing in a reflective vest or jacket to further increase your visibility, especially during the daytime when the sun's rays can wash out colors.

Remember, being visible is not only about your own safety but also about the safety of others on the road. By taking proactive measures to enhance your visibility, you contribute to creating a safer environment for everyone. So, whether it's day or night, make sure you prioritize visibility when riding your electric scooter.

 

Apollo Pro Deck with lights
Image: The Apollo Pro’s 360-degree lighting system ensures it can be seen from any angle on the road


Be Seen, and Be Sure that You Can See!

When it comes to electric scooter safety, it's not just about being seen but also about being able to see. Proper lighting on your scooter helps you see the road ahead and identify any potential hazards such as potholes, debris, or pedestrians. This is especially important when riding in low light conditions or at night.

One of the key aspects of being seen on your electric scooter is having a bright headlight. A powerful headlight not only illuminates the path in front of you but also makes you more visible to other road users. Consider investing in a headlight with multiple brightness settings, allowing you to adjust the intensity based on the lighting conditions.

Brightness is measured in lumens, and the brightness of your lighting needs will depend on where you’re riding. In well-lit urban areas, you’ll want brightness of somewhere between 200 and 600 lumens. This will light the road in front of you without blinding pedestrians, cyclists, and others. In dark, rural areas, you’ll want the brightest lighting you can find – anything above 750 lumens should be sufficient. 

Rear lighting typically needs to be much less bright, since its function is to be seen, not to illuminate the road. Additional tail lights can be somewhere between 100 to 300 lumens, depending, again, on where you will do most of your riding. 

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Apollo Phantom Brakelight

 

In addition to a headlight, having tail lights and rear reflectors on your scooter is equally important. If you’re adding tail lighting, choose lights with different lighting modes, such as steady, flashing, or pulsating, to enhance your visibility even more.

So-called “swag” or colored LED lights can make your scooter more noticeable and add a touch of personal style, but they are no substitute for bright headlights and tail lights. 

When it comes to maintaining your scooter lights, regular inspections are essential. Inspect the switches to ensure they are functioning properly, allowing you to turn the lights on and off easily. Additionally, inspect the wiring for any signs of damage or wear.

It's also a good practice to clean your lights regularly to ensure maximum visibility. Dust, dirt, and grime can accumulate on the lenses, reducing the brightness and effectiveness of lights. Use a soft cloth and mild cleaning solution to gently wipe the lights and remove any dirt or smudges.

Lastly, always be prepared for unexpected situations when riding at night by carrying spare batteries in a waterproof container or having a backup lighting system. If your scooter's lights malfunction or the batteries run out on your accessory lights, having a backup plan ensures that you can still get home safely. 

Remember, being seen and being able to see are crucial for your safety when riding an electric scooter. If your scooter does not have good stock lighting, investing in high-quality lights, maintaining them properly, and having backup options, you can enjoy a safer and more enjoyable riding experience.

Apollo Phantom Headlight
Image: The Apollo Phantom has a headlight mounted high up on the stem. 

Problems with Electric Scooter Lighting

While having lights, reflectors, and turn signals on your electric scooter is essential, there are certain challenges you may encounter with the standard lighting systems that come with most scooters.

 One common issue is that the built-in lights may not be bright enough to provide sufficient visibility, especially in darker conditions. In such cases, it may be necessary to look for additional lighting options that offer higher brightness levels.

 Another problem is the positioning, angle, and height of the lights. Some electric scooter headlights are mounted on the deck, making them too low to be easily seen by drivers. Others may not be adjustable or have multiple modes, or may not be mounted at the best angle to see far enough ahead of you. 

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Guide for Choosing Add-On Lights for Your Scooter

If you find that the lights on your electric scooter are not providing sufficient visibility, or if you simply want to enhance your safety further, consider adding some aftermarket lights. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing add-on accessory lights for your scooter:

  1. Brightness: Look for lights with high lumens output to ensure maximum visibility. However, if you’re principally concerned about riding in the city or in well-lit areas at night, lights over 600 lumens can be too bright. 
  2. Mounting Options: Check if the lights can be easily attached to your scooter's frame or handlebars. You can also add kiddy bars to your scooter to make it easier to mount additional lighting. 
  3. Battery Life: Consider the battery life of the lights, especially if you frequently ride at night. While USB rechargeable lights are convenient, battery powered lights give you the option of carrying a spare set of batteries in case of emergency. 
  4. Waterproofing: Opt for lights with a high IP rating to withstand various weather conditions. 

Proper lighting is crucial for electric scooter safety. By investing in a scooter with high-quality lights, adding reflectors, and using turn signals, you can significantly enhance your visibility and reduce the risk of accidents. Additionally, considering aftermarket lights can provide added brightness and functionality. Being seen and ensuring that you can see the road ahead are both essential for a safe and enjoyable electric scooter experience.

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Table of contents

    1. Improve Visibility and Your Safety with Electric Scooter Lights, Reflectors, and Turn Signals
    2. Why Visibility Matters on Scooters, Even in the Daytime
    3. Be Seen, and Be Sure that You Can See!
    4. Problems with Electric Scooter Lighting
    5. Guide for Choosing Add-On Lights for Your Scooter