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Helmets for Electric Scooters

Summary: CPSC recommends a bicycle helmet for low speed powered scooters,

We usually target our helmet advice to bicycle riders, but the electric scooters being put out by Bird, Lime and Scoot are no faster than a bicycle.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued an advisory recommending the use of bicycle helmets for riding powered scooters, along with knee and elbow pads. In 2006 they issued another recommendation that bicycle helmets are fine for low powered motorized scooters. Their current web page lists many activities with helmet recommendations, including "kick scooter riding" and recommendsa a bike helmet. they also have an interesting study of electric scooter injuries and deaths done way back in 2004.

There is no US government or other standard specifically for electric scooters. Speeds and impact velocities are similar to bicycle riding. So we would recommend that you look at our advice for buying a bike helmet and our page on helmets for the current season. You probably do not have to be as concerned with ventilation as a bicycle rider would, since riding an electric scooter takes less effort and will not produce as much body heat as bike riding. But since your helmet will probably end up being used for bike riding as well, you may want to take a look at the vents anyway.

Powered scooters are a different class of vehicle. They are less stable and controllable than a bicycle, but they can turn an urban area with poor access to transit into a walkable neighborhood. You need a helmet while riding them, particularly because at this point nobody else on the road is expecting a scooter. When cities begin to provide better accommodation for them on roadways they will be safer, and should become a useful addition to our transportation choices.

Bottom Line

CPSC believes that a bike helmet provides sufficient protection for electric scooter riding.

This page was revised on: September 27, 2018. BHSI logo
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