Travelling Smart: A Teen’s Guide to Safe Adventures

Travelling independently, whether by walking, cycling, scooting, or using public transport, is something we all do more of as we get older and have more freedom! But no matter the method we choose how do we keep ourselves, and others, safe and avoid accidents? This article will give you the low-down on the best ways you can protect yourself when you’re out and about, travelling independently. Some of these tips probably seem obvious but you would be surprised how many teens each year get caught out and end up having an avoidable accident while travelling around.

E-bikes, e-scooters and hoverboards

More and more of us have e-bikes, e-scooters and hoverboards. There are some rules about them that you may not know:

  • It’s illegal to ride your own e-scooters and hoverboard in public places including roads and pavements.
  • You need a driving license to ride a hired e-scooter in public places, so you have to be over 17.

If you do choose to ride them follow the simple and most effective rule for keeping yourself safe: wear a HELMET! It will protect your head from a serious and potentially life-changing brain injury if you fall. You should also wear bright and protective clothing so you can be seen.

The lithium-ion batteries they’re powered with can also cause fires that spread quickly and are difficult to put out. In 2023, the London Fire Brigade was called to an e-bike or e-scooter fire every other day! You can reduce the risk of fires from these batteries by following these tips:

  • Many fires happen because the electrical goods aren’t genuine and haven’t met the British and European safety standards so buy your wheels from a trusted retailer
  • Don’t buy cheap parts online
  • Check for the CE and UKCA marks so you know they are genuine products
  • Register your new wheels with the manufacturer so you find out if it ever gets recalled because of safety issues.

When you’re charging your e-bike or e-scooter make sure you:

  • Read the instructions before you plug it in
  • Use the genuine charger
  • Avoid charging overnight or while you’re out
  • Unplug once it’s at full charge.

Using trams, trains, and buses

In Manchester the Bee Network means we have lots of options for getting around our city but the great transport network can pose some dangers so it’s good to know how you can avoid having an unnecessary accident.

Take extra care when you’re crossing over a tram track, just like if you were crossing the road, look and listen carefully for trams approaching and don’t take the risk of trying to get across in front of one quickly! If you’re using the train, don’t ever get tempted to cross to the other platform over the tracks, trains approach quickly. When you’re moving down the bus, tram or train it’s always a good idea to use the hand holds so you don’t suddenly fall over.

Cycling and walking

Cycling and walking are great ways to travel actively. Choosing this method of travel will build some exercise into your regular routine and release those endorphins that make us feel great! When you’re cycling follow this simple checklist to keep yourself safe:

  • Make sure your bike is roadworthy e.g., do the brakes work well, have you got lights if you’re cycling in the dark?
  • Wear something bright or reflective so other road users can see you easily.
  • Wear a helmet to protect your head from injury if you fall off!

Whenever you’re walking pay attention to the roads around you. Using pedestrian crossings over the road is the safest way to get across without risking an injury. Look up from your mobile phone when crossing and think about muting your headphones for crossing safely. More electric vehicles on the roads means we don’t always hear them approaching.

Thanks for reading to the end! Remember, prioritising safety when travelling is just as important as knowing where you’re going. Ultimately, the aim is to get there, safely!