If you have ever ridden on an electric scooter (or eScooter), or if you have ever seen someone zipping down the sidewalk on an eScooter, you might think that wearing a helmet would be a good idea. As a result, you might be surprised to learn that some states and cities are actually passing laws that eliminate helmet requirements for eScooter riders.
eScooter Helmet Laws are Not Uniform
Yet, this is what’s happening. California recently passed a law which states that riders who are at least 18 years old are not required to wear a helmet. Spokane, Washington also recently adopted a similar rule. While one possible justification for these changes is that the proliferation of eScooters simply makes it impractical for law enforcement officers to ticket everyone who rides without a helmet, as reported by CNET, electric scooter company Bird has sponsored legislation seeking to eliminate helmet requirements for riders while also increasing the speed limit and allowing riders to share sidewalks with pedestrians.
Similar to speed limits and other laws and regulations that apply to eScooters, helmet requirements are not uniform. While some states and cities have them, others don’t. Some jurisdictions treat scooters the same way they treat bicycles, while others treat them as personal mobility devices (such as electric wheelchairs). Since laws and regulations vary, riders should check their local requirements before deciding to ride an electric scooter without a helmet.
Riders Should Consider Wearing a Helmet Even if It’s Not Required
Even if you are not legally required to wear a helmet while riding an electric scooter in your city or town, wearing one is still a good idea. Studies have proven helmets’ effectiveness in preventing traumatic head injuries in motorcycle and bicycle accidents, and there is simply no good reason to ride without a helmet. Some rental scooters offer free helmets to registered app users who ask for them; and, even if you cannot get one for free, a helmet is still well worth the modest investment. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine:
“Head trauma is the most common injury in accidents involving bikes, in-line skates, skateboards and scooters. Head injuries are the leading cause of death and disability in these types of crashes.”
Some of the types of head injuries that can result from electric scooter crashes include:
- Concussions – Concussions can result from direct impact or violent shaking and are the most-common form of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
- Contusions – A contusion is a type of brain bruise that results from the brain making contact with the skull during a collision.
- Diffuse Anoxal Injuries – Diffuse anoxal injuries occur when the head is shaken or thrown violently, tearing the connections between the cells in the brain.
- Hematomas – A hematoma is a type of blood clot that can occur under the skull or between the brain and the protective dura.
- Hemorrhages – A hemorrhage involves bleeding in the brain and can result from all types of impacts and collisions.
Discuss Your Legal Rights with an eScooter Attorney
For riders who suffer head injuries in eScooter accidents, the financial and non-financial costs can be substantial. If you have been injured and would like to speak with an attorney, we invite you to call 954-764-4849 or contact us online for a free consultation.