Does an Electric Scooter Need a Helmet?

Toby Bell07 May 2022

There are electric scooters all over the world, but every country and state has its own rules and regulations for wearing a helmet when riding on one of these scooters.  Helmets are obligatory in some jurisdictions, whereas in others it is entirely up to you whether or not to wear one. 

Using an electric scooter at speeds of up to 40 kilometres per hour could result in significant injury if the rider falls or collides with another vehicle or pedestrian. So when it comes to safety, despite the fact that helmets aren't the most trendy, they're essential. Many riders are aware of this, but as is often the case with modern innovation, riders of electric scooters are often unsure whether or not to use a helmet.

Are You Required To Wear a Helmet When Riding an Electric Scooter?

Electric scooters are very appealing. They're quick, fun, and convenient. Due to their speed, however, e-scooters can also be dangerous, thus safety is a prime concern. Even if you follow all of the safety guidelines when riding, accidents can happen. Wearing a helmet is the best way to protect yourself.

In general, most countries don't require wearing a helmet when riding an electric scooter.

E-scooter users in the United Kingdom are not required to wear helmets under the present UK laws. Only France and Sweden have enforced the wearing of helmets throughout Europe, and only for individuals under the age of 18. E-scooters are permitted throughout Australia, however, only four states require wearing a helmet. In Asia, the same disparity exists: helmets are required in South Korea and Japan, but are optional in Singapore.

Only a few states in the United States mandate helmets, with the rest of the country merely advising them rather than requiring them. In the United States, a helmet is now required when riding an electric scooter in 12 states. Here's a basic rundown of where helmet laws for e-scooters are enforced in the US:

  • In Massachusetts, since e-scooters are classified as mopeds, helmets are required.
  • In California, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, and South Dakota, e-scooter users under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet.
  • In North Dakota, e-scooter users under the age of 18 must wear a motorcycle helmet.
  • In Washington, D.C., e-scooter users under the age of 18 who ride shared scooters are required to wear a helmet.
  • In Louisiana, e-scooter users under the age of 17 are required to wear a helmet.
  • In Connecticut and Delaware, e-scooter users under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet.
  • In Virginia, everyone under the age of 15 who rides motorized vehicles like e-bikes and e-scooters is required to wear a helmet.

What Kind of Helmet Should You Use for an Electric Scooter?

There are a variety of helmets available, but none are particularly classified or licensed as e-scooter helmets. As a result of the lack of a helmet law or an approved e-scooter helmet, we must rely on the good old common sense.

Even the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) does not have a blanket rule that applies to all e-scooters because, quite simply, they are not all the same. Depending on the speed of the e-scooter, the CPSC has varied recommendations.

  • A bike helmet may be adequate for e-scooters that ride at speeds less than 20 mph.
  • A motorcycle helmet is recommended for e-scooters that move faster than 20 mph and are likely to collide with motorized vehicles.

To ride around town in comfort, you generally don't need a full-fledged, DOT-approved motorcycle helmet, although there'd be no harm in doing so. Because there aren't any helmets created particularly for electric scooters, you'll need to look at helmets made for bikes or motorcycles.

Bike Helmet

These are the typical bicycle helmets. The soft inside lining contrasts with the rigid outer shell. When a shell is hit, it disperses the force across a larger area. This protects your skull from fractures. The soft interior also aids in the absorption of impact force. Liners often consist of two thick layers of shape, one soft and the other firmer. Bike helmets, however, do not give any facial or jaw protection. Although your skull will be secured, a major collision can still result in significant facial and chin injury.

Downhill or Mountain Bike Helmet

You can use a downhill or mountain bike helmet as the safest option for e-scooters at low speeds up to 20mph. This helmet is light and provides adequate ventilation, but it is more impact resistant than a standard bike helmet. Downhill helmets were developed after it was discovered that downhill racing caused more crashes.

Motorcycle Helmet

If your electric scooter can hit maximum speeds of up to 40mph, your best bet is a motorcycle helmet.  Almost all motorcycle helmets are full-faced, which means your skull, face, and jaw will be fully protected. They also help shield your neck. This is significant since the chin gets 50% of the severe impacts in motorbike crashes involving the head. Motorcycle helmets are normally ventilated, so you won't get too hot and sweaty despite the fact that your entire head is covered. During winter, the vents can typically be closed. Because you can't use sunglasses with a full-face helmet, many now come with different hues. This makes your drive safer in different lighting situations.

How To Find the Perfect Electric Scooter Helmet

How do you choose a helmet? It all comes down to two factors: the degree of protection you need and how comfortable it is to wear.

Protection

For electric scooters that run on a minimum speed of 20mph, and for the most basic protection, a bicycle helmet is the best option. If you want better protection, however, a downhill or mountain bike helmet is perfect for electric scooters that travel at speeds below 20pmh. For electric scooters running at speeds of more than 20mph, or a maximum of 40mph, a motorcycle helmet is best.

Comfort

Since you'll be riding with your helmet on throughout your whole e-scooter journey, it's important to make sure that your helmet is comfortable. Thus, measuring your head size is important. Here are tips to help you out:

  • Measure the circumference of your head with a measuring tape.
  • Start by measuring around one inch or 0.5cm above your eyebrows.
  • To make sure you're getting an accurate measurement, repeat the process 2-3 times.
  • The majority of helmets are measured in centimeters so if you measured in inches, make sure to convert correctly.

Although some countries or states don't require you to wear a helmet when riding an electric scooter, it doesn't mean you shouldn't. After all, it's better to err on the side of safety and keep yourself protected at all times.

Toby Bell

Toby Bell

Toby, a skating fanatic, has recently switched his skateboarding passion into an e-everything passion. E-skateboards, and e-scooters are his new love, and he wanted to share that love with anyone interested.

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