In 2018, there were over 38.5 million trips made on e-scooters in the USA. As micro-mobility options (eg e-scooters, rental bikes, e-bikes, etc.) grow in popularity, there are more chances for riders to intersect with cars, transit and other residents of the road. With sustainability and on-demand availability, e-scooters do serve a purpose; however, riders should take extreme caution while riding. In 2017 alone, there were over 800 deaths related to cyclist/car accidents.
In our lovely hometown of Portland, Oregon, e-scooters and bikes are not allowed on sidewalks or in city parks, meaning riders are moving on the streets with traffic or in bikes with other riders. The companies behind the scooters such as Lime, Spin, Ride and more have guidelines and mandates to wear a helmet; however, there is no enforcement and protective head gear is not always provided. In Oct. 2019, a Portland resident fell off his e-scooter while crossing train tracks. He became unconscious and experienced head trauma from the accident. He was not wearing a helmet.
At Kuether Brain and Spine, we’ve seen the negative impacts of traumatic head injuries and recognize the concerning potential of riding bikes and e-scooters in traffic without head protection. Therefore, it is important to remember to bring your own protective headgear when using these services, especially when riding in traffic. Helmets offer a layer of protection that can be the reason between life and death during an accident. In fact, head protection is the only way to better protect the most important organ in the body, the brain, while enjoying micro-mobility. And while helmets don’t guarantee harm-free accidents, they do improve a bicyclist or e-scooter riders’ safety and chances of coming out unscathed in the unfortunate event of an accident.
Helmets can be found at your local outdoor store or online. If you are intending to enjoy micro-mobility, a protective helmet is a long-term investment that needs to be taken. As a general guideline, most quality helmets should cost around $50. While we do not promote or sponsor these brands, here are few examples of helmets: Protec Classic helmet and Giro Sutton helmet. The entire staff at Kuether Brain & Spine hopes Oregonians are able to enjoy the perks of micro-mobility safely through protective gear.