A helmet messes up my hair, I’m just going a short distance and won’t fall, and there’re other lame excuses people give for not wearing it. According to Nicole Boniquit Levy, MD, a primary care sports medicine specialist at Rush University Medical Center, avoiding this essential protective gear is unjustifiable. So do you need a helmet to ride a kick scooter? It’s a hotly debated topic with supported and counter-support facts that we’ll disclose in this read.
Some people consider wearing helmets a vital part of safety, while others consider it unnecessary and an impediment to enjoying the scooting experience. So should you wear one or not? Unfortunately, the answer is not simple and depends on various aspects, so let’s break it down!
Do You Need a Helmet to Ride a Kick Scooter | Complete Guide
If you’re a kid, a beginner, doing experiments on scooting or riding on weary and teary roads, then there’s no reason not to wear a helmet to ensure safety. However, you can skip wearing this protection gear if you’re an experienced commuter and comfortable with high risks. Let’s now tally up some key factors you must consider before taking the final decision.
Also Read: How to make a kick scooter faster
Facts and Laws About Helmet Security
Facts About Wearing a Helmet
- A number of studies have been conducted on this concern that reveals that wearing a helmet can bring down the probability of head or brain injury and death resulting from accidents. When you wear a helmet during a collision, the impact energy is mopped up by that gear instead of the head and skull.
- In 1990 the helmet became mandatory safety equipment for riders. According to a report by Victoria’s road safety authority (VicRoads), there has been a 70% decrease in bicyclists killed or injured by brain injury because of helmets.
- According to SAFE KIDS, properly fastened and fitted helmets can reduce head injury risk by about 45%. Since 1999, helmet safety awareness has resulted in a 54% reduction in riding-related deaths.
- An NYC-based bicycle company has released a list of points highlighting the importance of wearing a helmet.
- Each year 900 people in the US lose their life in scootering accidents, and 75% of this number is from head injuries.
- Helmets make you look cool and more prominent.
- Helmets can prevent 88% of brain injuries among bicyclists.
- For kids under 14, US law requires you to wear that protective gear to ensure safety.
Helmet Safety Laws in the USA
There’re 2 types of helmet security laws in the USA that you may consider when thinking do you need a helmet to ride a kick scooter or not :
Universal Motorcycle Helmet Law: This law makes wearing helmets mandatory for all riders regardless of their experience and age. The helmet must meet the US. Department of Transportation’s safety standards. According to the stats of 2015, fewer than 20 states in the US follow the Universal helmet law in place for all riders.
Partial Helmet Law: Partial helmet law limits certain age groups ( 17-20 years) to wearing helmets while riding. The majority of the states in the US follow this law.
However, several states have weakened or changed their helmet laws. As per 2021 stats, 18 states in Columbia followed universal helmet law, 29 states acted upon partial law, while 3 states didn’t have any helmet safety law in place.
Points to Contemplate
A few points that you must take into account while making a decision to wear a helmet or not are given below:
Experience and Age: If you’re a beginner, learn how to ride an electric scooter and then never make the mistake of missing a helmet during the ride, regardless of your age. But if you’re an adult and experienced rider with the stamina to face risks, you may not need the one every time.
Weather and Environmental Conditions: If you’ve to move to a dusty, polluted area on a hot sunny day, you must wear a helmet to protect your face.
Advantages of Wearing a Helmet
The major perks of wearing helmets while riding a kick scooter are mentioned below:
Protection: The most obvious benefit of using a helmet is that it protects from head and brain injuries in case of accidents. The brain is suspended in cerebrospinal fluid in the skull, which acts as a shock absorber. If an adult or kid falls from a moving scooter and hits the road, this results in a skull fracture. In some cases, the hard-hit may result in death, so wearing a helmet can reduce this chance to about 70-90%, depending on the situation.
Law: In some countries, it’s compulsory for scooter riders to wear a helmet. You need to give preferences to laws over your personal views if you’re riding in such an area. It’s always better to be safe instead of sorry, so wearing a helmet is recommended regardless of the laws.
Visibility: When you wear a helmet, your visibility on the road increases, decreasing your chance of encountering any serious incident.
Debris: Last but not least, having helmets can protect your face and hair from debris and pollution effects.
Drawbacks of Wearing a Helmet
Some researchers claim that having helmets on the head can increase the chance of severe neck injury during an accident. However, this isn’t accepted by most experts. Some common drawbacks related to wearing a helmet while scootering are mentioned below:
Looks: Some people feel self-conscious when they wear helmets while riding kick scooters as they think a helmet can ruin their looks. Few riders, especially ladies, think that wearing a helmet may result in messing up their hair. It’s just a self satisfactory element, so try stylish options available in the market instead of sacrificing safety.
Comfort: A big downside of helmets is that it causes discomfort and increases face and neck sweating in hot weather. It may also feel bulky and can cause obstruction in the way of your vision resulting in an accident.
1- What kind of helmet does a scooter need?
For low speeds under 20MPH, standard bike helmets are more than enough. However, for fast scooters with 30-40MPH speed, full-face motorcycle helmets are recommended.
2- Do you need a helmet to ride a kick scooter in California, USA?
If you’re riding on a kick scooter with a 35 miles per hour (35 MPH) speed and wearing no helmet, then California, USA laws allow you to do so. As Having a helmet is not mandatory in California while riding a kick scooter.
3- Is It a must for kids or teens to wear a helmet to ride a kick Scooter?
A helmet can safeguard your kid or teen from serious injuries in case of a fall. So they must always put on a helmet while scootering. Their helmets must be age appropriate and worn correctly.
The Verdict- Wearing a Helmet Can Save Your Life
We hope that this read has helped you to get an answer to the query -” do You Need a Helmet to Ride a Kick Scooter? ” Although wearing a helmet is not mandatory in most books of laws in different areas, we recommend you not to take risks and always try to put on a helmet for safety. But the choice is still yours; use the ball in your court to make the decision that you feel is comfortable for you.