Washington Motorized Scooter Helmet Laws
May 24, 2023 | Accidents,Personal Injury
Scooters have become more popular and widely used throughout the state. Perhaps you have seen various companies rent out electric scooters around the state of Washington, including Lime and Bird. However, these electric scooters have become significant hazards, particularly when scooter riders collide with other people, vehicles, or fixed objects. Here, we want to discuss whether or not motorized scooter riders in Washington have to wear a helmet.
Wear a Helmet When Riding an Electric Scooter in Washington
When we examine RCW 46.37.530, we see that any person who operates a motorcycle, moped, or motor-driven cycle on a state highway, county roadway, or city street must wear a helmet at all times. Even though the law does not specifically state that electric or motorized scooters, such as Lime and Bird, fall under the same requirements, please understand that state law enforcement officials enforce this law for these types of vehicles.
When operating a motorized scooter on private property, individuals will not have to wear a helmet, but if riders cross public roadways while on public property, they will technically be breaking the law if they do not have a helmet on. Regardless of where an individual happens to be riding an electric scooter, we strongly encourage the use of the helmet to prevent serious face, head, and brain injuries.
Studies Show the Dangers of Electric Scooters
When electric scooters first became popular around 2017, medical professionals around the country began to worry. There was an uptick in injuries related to electronic scooter accidents, and the injuries were often severe. There was a study in the medical journal JAMA Network Open that focused on two emergency departments.
The study centered on 249 people involved in electronic scooter accidents that require medical care. One-third of these individuals were transported to the hospital by ambulance. The most common types of injury incidents involving these scooters were falls, collisions with other objects or riders, and getting struck by a moving vehicle or other object.
- 40% of the injuries were bone fractures
- 31.7% of the injuries were head trauma cases
- 27.7% of the injuries involved sprains, bruises, and cuts
The data also indicated that only 4.4% of electronic scooter riders surveyed over the course of that study were wearing a helmet when the accident occurred. This is despite the fact that every major e-scooter company and rental company suggests wearing a helmet when operating these vehicles.
Can You Recover Compensation After an Injury?
If you or somebody you care about sustains an electric scooter accident injury caused by the negligence of another party, we encourage you to reach out to a skilled attorney for assistance as soon as possible. These cases can be challenging, and determining liability for the incident involves conducting an extensive investigation. If the incident was caused by the actions of another party, electric scooter accident victims in Washington may be able to recover compensation for their medical bills, lost wages if they cannot work, property damage expenses, and various types of physical and emotional pain and suffering damages.
Unfortunately, insurance carriers and other parties push back firmly from having to pay out fair compensation, so having a Seattle personal injury attorney by your side will give you a legal advocate ready to back you up in court.