You may have noticed the recent flood of motorized scooters and shareable Nike bikes filling the streets of Portland. While these new modes of transportation can encourage a healthy lifestyle, promote environmentally friendly commuting and hopefully, lighten Portland’s growing traffic problem, they can also present a serious safety concern: head protection.

Cycling and biking with proper head protection, such as a well-fitted and tightly strapped helmet has long be advocated.  However, the new surge of motorized e-scooters and shareable bike services are not receiving the same push of important messaging — that the need for protective helmets while using these options is so important.

Kuether Brain and Spine finds the new options like the Nike bikes and e-scooters from companies like Lime and Bird as a fun way to explore our favorite city. As a neurosurgery clinic, we’ve seen the negative impacts of traumatic head injuries and recognize the concerning potential of riding bikes and e-scooters in traffic without available head protection. Therefore, it is important to remember to bring your own protective headgear when using these services, especially when riding in traffic.

Over 45 people died in traffic-related pedestrian or cycling accidents in Portland, Oregon in 2017. While Portland is working to make our streets as safe of possible, accidents can happen to anyone, at anytime. Head protection is the only way to better protect the most important organ in the body: the brain. 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.

Kuether Brain and Spine wants to advocate for safer practices with these fun, convenient and healthy modes of transportation by reminding all riders to wear properly fitting helmets. Traumatic brain injuries are serious and often life-threatening. To protect your head, wear a helmet and then go out and have fun exploring our beautiful city on two wheels.