Electric scooter are still a relatively new thing and sometimes people are taken by surprise with how powerful and fast they can really be. There is still a heated ongoing debate about how dangerous e scooters are, and whether wearing protective gear should be mandatory.
Am I Required by Law to Wear a Helmet?
Rules and regulations considering wearing safety gear while riding an electric scooter vary from state to state. In New York, for example, you are not legally required to wear a helmet while riding motorized scooter unless you are under 14 years of age. In Washington DC you are not obligated to wear a helmet at all, but you are also not allowed to operate any kind of Personal Mobility Device under the age of 16. In California you are not permitted to operate an electric scooter without a fastened, properly fitted bicycle helmet meeting appropriate standards. In most states, electric scooters are poorly addressed by current laws. That is why it often up to the police whether they’ll stop you or not for not wearing a helmet. The only thing certain is that you’ll never be stopped for wearing one.
Should I Wear a Helmet When Riding an E-Scooter?
Yes, you absolutely should! Despite all the promo videos showing “cool people” on scooters riding around, looking fab, not wearing helmets, despite your worry that you would look stupid, or mess up your hair, wearing a safety gear is the right thing to do. Especially if you are sharing the road with cars and other, bigger and faster, motorized vehicles. Of course, first thing to do is to ride safely and stay alert to traffic, but in case of an accident, helmet will be a life saver.
The top speed of 15 mph may not sound as much but tanks to the laws of physics, crashing at this speed may mean anything from few scratches to serious injury and even death. Getting a helmet that that meets the CPSC(Consumer Product Safety Commission) standard, and fits properly is not too expensive (good quality helmets start around $50), and it can save you pain and money for medical bills.
Wearing Knee and Elbow Pads – Now We’re Pushing it
The cracked skull is a serious injury, but fractured kneecap can also be very uncomfortable, so getting a pair of knee and elbow pads is a really good idea. These accessories protect your joints and reduce shocks in case of a fall. Even soft pads can protect your precious limbs, and they are not uncomfortable like hard shell pads.
Regardless of the law, we strongly recommend that you wear protective gear when riding a motorized scooter. Even if you are the most confident driver in the world, on the scooter or an electric bike you are pretty exposed, and a helmet appropriate for risks you are exposed to when riding make a big difference if you get yourself in any kind of an accident. There is no hairstyle good enough to make up for head trauma, so think safety first when riding any of the electric two-wheelers.