Helmet-Less Electric Scooters; Are We Heading for a Disaster?
Electric scooters are starting to take over many US cities, in an effort to bring mobility to the modern world. Though they haven’t reached every market yet, there are currently escooters across Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham and Greensboro. If you’re in these markets, you’ve probably seen them zipping around town – and chances are the rider was not wearing a helmet.
“The electric scooter fad is exciting and seems to have taken cities in the Carolinas by storm,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas Spokesperson. “It’s a great alternative to driving or walking as it saves traffic time and gas money, but what we wanted to find out is just how safe these scooters are.”
In a recent AAA Carolinas poll, 86% of respondents said they believe wearing a helmet on an escooter increases safety, though only 58% answered that they do so.
Both companies advise riders to wear a helmet at all times while on electric scooters and both also have an 18 year age requirement to ride. The escooters are limited to a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour, which doesn’t seem speedy but can do damage if involved in a crash.
On whether or not these companies should provide helmets for electric scooter riders, survey respondents were torn. 69% believe that yes, they should provide a helmet for every ride, while the rest believe it is their responsibility to bring one along. Bird currently offers free helmets to all riders – it is an option to select on the app. The company will send a helmet to you, you just have to pay shipping.
“We’re happy to see that most respondents understand the importance of wearing a helmet, on bikes and scooters,” added Wright. “If you plan to scoot around town, pack your helmet.”
Electric Scooter Safety Tips
For escooter riders, AAA Carolinas recommends:
• Wear a helmet at all times.
• Wear reflective gear or tape to your clothes to make you more visible to motorists – especially at dawn, dusk and night.
• Wear closed toed, flat footwear and ensure that you are comfortable.
• Never ride impaired or distracted.
• Don’t ride faster than your skill level or conditions allow.
• Slow down at intersections and be aware of others on the road.