Wheels Wants People to Stop Using Their Heads

E-Bike Company Adds Helmets to Improve Safety

by Neal Freyman

Wheels scooters with helmets
Image courtesy of Wheels

The micromobility company Wheels has redesigned its e-bikes to include a shareable helmet that riders can access for free. For those concerned about the hygienic implications of communal headgear, each helmet comes equipped with a removable liner.

The problem: Most urban commuters are more worried about their hairdo than being turned into skull soup.

  • In a study of e-scooter injuries in Austin, TX, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 48% were head injuries. And how many of the 190 injured riders were wearing a helmet? Just one.
  • Another study reported that head injuries accounted for over 40% of e-scooter-related ER visits.

The backstory on Wheels: 1) It was started earlier this year by the brothers who cofounded the dog-walking startup Wag 2) it operates bike-shares in six U.S. cities and Stockholm, Sweden, and 3) it’s raised almost $100 million since launching.

Bottom line: Shared bikes and e-scooters are jumping in popularity. But to become a mainstay in cities, companies will have to address safety concerns.

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