Text size:

E-scooters – should helmets be compulsory?


Earlier this year Spain made it compulsory to wear a helmet when riding an electric-scooter. Should it be compulsory in the UK?

The UK law is currently under review. The guidance on the Government website is “You should wear a cycle helmet when using an e-scooter. Helmets are recommended but are not a legal requirement.”

I recently carried out an informal survey* on whether helmets should be compulsory in the UK. The vast majority (47 out of 50) were for.


Amongst the arguments for were:
  • Helmets reduce the severity of a head injury.
  • US Physicians found that head and neck injuries made up 28% of admissions to US emergency departments from e-scooter related incidents**.
  • Helmets provide higher visibility in general.
  • An e-scooter is classified as a “motor vehicle”. It is compulsory for riders of mopeds or motorcycles to wear a helmet on the road so it should be for riders of e-scooters.


Amongst the arguments against were:
  • It is likely to put people off using them (and force people to use more expensive and less eco-friendly options).
  • Even if it is made compulsory, some people still won’t bother.
  • It should be up to the individual on how they protect themselves.
  • Helmets are not compulsory for cyclists and skiers so they shouldn’t be for riders of e-scooters.


My own view is that the aim of the game is to not only protect yourself but to make yourself as visible as possible when you are riding an e-scooter on the road (think bright lights and neon clothing).

As someone who sees the bitter consequences of severe road traffic accidents, I am a keen advocate of taking safety precautions wherever possible. While there will always be people who do not comply with the law (the owners of private e-scooters who ride them on public roads and pavements come to mind), if a helmet can save just one person from suffering a traumatic brain injury, then it will be worth it. I am therefore for compulsory helmets for e-scooters.


*Poll of 50 votes from LinkedIn contacts

**From 2009 to 2019 – study conducted by the Henry Ford Health System. 

We offer a free initial consultation.

We will tell you if we think you have a good case and if we can help you.

We will not use your information for any other purpose.