Last week I had an accident while riding an electric scooter. But things would have been much worse if I hadn’t worn a helmet.
For my Apollo City review – like every other electric scooter I test – I drove it around my city, evaluating its performance when accelerating, braking and moving over bumps. I also took it up and down hills to see how well the Apollo City could handle inclines, revved it up as much as possible to test its claimed top speed, and raced it to check how long it lasted. its battery life.
During testing of the Apollo City, I was going about 20 miles per hour, down a street no more exceptional than the next, when I hit a pothole at an odd angle. It wasn’t bigger than others I’ve been on in the past, but this time I hit it weird and, at that point – from what I remember – I didn’t I didn’t have as firm a grip on the left handlebar as usual.
In an instant, the handlebars of the scooter slipped out of my control. The scooter veered to the right and fell onto the pavement; I continued my trajectory straight until I too hit the asphalt.
The left side of my body took the worst parts of the impact. My left elbow was pretty badly scraped, my left hip had a bruise the size of a small pineapple, and my left ankle was swollen the size of a golf ball. My hands escaped injury as it happened to be cold and I was wearing a pair of leather gloves.
But more importantly, even though my head hit the ground, I didn’t get a scratch near my face because I was wearing a helmet.
In 2019, almost 900 cyclists died and nearly half a million people were injured as a result of an accident, According to the CDC. The numbers for e-scooter users are lower, but are rising rapidly as more people take to the streets. Emergency room visits following e-scooter accidents rose from 7,700 in 2017 to 25,400 in 2020, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commissionand accounted for more than half of all injuries caused by micromobility products.
These numbers will only increase as more and more people use e-scooters and other means of transportation, such as e-bikes.
The helmet I was wearing, a Bontrager Charge ($160, REI), took a bit of a beating, and now there are light scratches on the side where it hit the ground. The Charge is similar to the Bontrager Specter on our list of best bike helmets; both models use what the company calls WaveCel technology, the structure and design of which helps reduce rotational motion when it – or you – hits something. While it was in the middle of the pack out of 144 bike helmets tested, it received a 5-star rating from the Virginia Tech Helmet Labwhich tests helmets of all kinds for their ability to reduce linear acceleration and rotational speed.
Aside from the other injuries on my body, I was otherwise fine. I was a bit shaken for sure and it’s going to be a while before I can start running again, but things could have been much worse.
So let this be a warning: if you plan to ride an electric bike or scooter, please wear a helmet.