The snow has finally fallen and the ground has turned white, but that doesn’t mean that one can’t ride around town with Tuul! For the first time in the history of Estonia, people can enjoy e-scooters in proper ski weather – but what does this mean for other city dwellers and the future of micro-mobility in traffic?
Tuul is the future
Although we are all experiencing the first winter season of electronic scooters together, let us dare to say that it will certainly not be the last. Tuul e-scooters have been left on the streets of Tallinn this winter to help create a habit of driving light vehicles all year round and to work towards giving up vehicles with internal combustion engines entirely. Although the combination of scooters in the snow may seem a bit strange or unfamiliar at first, we believe that this is the direction we should all be moving towards, to take Tallinn forward in the world of micro-mobility. Why shouldn’t Tallinn become the next Helsinki, Stockholm, or Copenhagen, where light motorists can ride around the city at any time of the year with a smile on their faces! After all, there is no such thing as bad weather – just bad clothing choices and the wrong attitude.
By switching our car habits with more sustainable options, we promote light traffic culture, reduce urban noise, and combat air pollution. This is all part of the mission that has been at the heart of Tuul for a long time – unlike other shared scooters, Tuul e-scooters have the technical ability and capability to be on the streets all year round since the very beginning, even in temperatures below zero, precisely, so that people could continuously commute around town in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.
3 tips on how to ride an e-scooter more safely in winter conditions
1. Wear protective gear – It is never a bad idea to wear a helmet when riding around, and we remind you that it is now legally mandatory for riders under the age of 16 to wear a helmet at all times when on the scooter. We definitely also recommend wearing reflectors to increase visibility for both drivers and pedestrians (Tuul e-scooters are also equipped with proper headlights and tail lights, but one can never be too safe!)
2. Take it easy at the curves – In Estonian, we say that the wise don’t rush! When approaching a curve or sudden turn, one should start braking well in advance to avoid slipping or unwanted drifting. Sharp turns and unstable riding patterns, especially on a slippery surface, can cause a momentary risk of skidding and falling. It’s not a bad idea to learn how to jump off the scooter in case of emergency.
3. Keep an eye on the road – When driving with a scooter, you should be constantly paying attention to where you are going. When approaching bumpy, icy, or snowy areas, we recommend taking a break and considering momentarily getting off the scooter to avoid unstable parts of the road. The same is especially true when crossing the road!
Tuul is safe
Seeing scooters parked next to piles of thick snow may lead to slight suspicion leaving one doubtful whether riding on slippery ice is the smartest thing to do given the circumstances. Although it is always good to be alert, we confirm that we ourselves have tried riding in the ice and snow and stand by the fact that if ridden carefully and rationally, our scooters are completely safe to ride, even in current weather conditions. That said, one must be more careful when passing through slippery areas – just like when walking or cycling – it is important to pay more attention to how you move. We also want to emphasize that there is absolutely no point in biting off more than you can chew by purposely putting yourself in dangerous situations. If you feel that you do not feel comfortable riding on snowy surfaces, aim to ride only on asphalt roads. If you feel that crossing the road in snowy weather is scary, remember to jump off your scooter and walk next to it while crossing. It’s that simple!
The district governments are also doing their best to ensure safe navigation during these slippery times in Tallinn, both for pedestrians and micro-mobility riders alike. Most light traffic roads are salted and cleared of snow, which makes driving much more comfortable. We would also like to remind you that a light traffic vehicle must be driven in a light traffic lane or by the road if at all possible, and only if the light traffic lanes are deemed unrideable, may you carefully search for an alternative road (just as you would do, if you were walking!).
Tuul is doing its part
It goes without saying that we at Tuul are doing our best to do our part by making passengers aware of the special conditions caused by the current weather. We will continue to share tips & tricks for safer driving via the Tuul application and social media, and we have reduced the maximum speed of the scooter based on the current temperatures and weather conditions to make driving safer. That said, we would like to remind you that the ultimate responsibility lies with the e-scooter rider, as they are the ones in charge of choosing the speed and style of riding. Be sure to ride in the correct lane, pick a suitable speed, brake early, drive slower when coming up to curves, and avoid accelerating in open snow.
We will continue to keep an eye on the situation and listen carefully to the decisions of the Tallinn district governments. If we see that the free-riding service is being restricted or the weather conditions are becoming extreme, we will collect the scooters from the streets until the conditions permit riding again.
Tuul is adapting to the conditions
The cold winter weather won’t break Tuul. But in order to ensure your safety during the winter, we will regulate our service according to the weather conditions.
We will limit the speed of Tuul at the beginning of your ride if the outside temperature drops below +3°C. We want to ensure a smoother ride in poor weather conditions when the braking distance is longer.
We may limit the availability of Tuul scooters when the outside temperature drops below minus degrees or when there’s excess snow, ice, sleet, or slippery road conditions which do not allow to ride a scooter safely,
Due to the regulations of the district governments, the parking zone may decrease during the following winter months in order to keep vehicles where the city has given permission to operate.
This is a seasonal security measure only. Psst… Read also what you should know about the new “e-scooter law” from HERE!
We wish everyone safe and happy riding in this beautiful snowy weather!