By Steve Pyer, UK Country Manager
At Spin — the Ford-owned e-scooter company — safety is at the heart of what we do. As the UK’s e-scooter trials progress, local authorities rightly demand the very best from operators to ensure their residents can enjoy e-scooters as safely as possible. An important way we can seek to protect our riders is by encouraging them to wear a helmet. The main question confronting operators — particularly in markets like the UK where wearing helmets is not a legal requirement — is how can we best do this?
We know that riders are rightly picky when it comes to what type of helmet they’d be most likely to wear. So, when considering a supplier and method of distribution, it was really important for us that we got a top-quality helmet that users can keep as their own.
With that in mind, we are delighted to announce our exclusive partnership with Freewheel.co.uk, the cycling website dedicated to supporting local bike shops, to provide free helmets to Spin riders. In total, 5,000 Lazer One+ helmets will be available for distribution in Essex in Spring 2021.
When it comes to safety, following the evidence is paramount. That’s why we carried out extensive research* to find out what our riders feel about helmets, so we could make the right decisions to ensure as many people use them as possible. Around three quarters of our users surveyed in Milton Keynes said they would be happy to wear a helmet. However, of these more than half (58 percent) said that it would need to be a helmet they personally owned rather than a shared product; only 17 percent of users said they would use a shared helmet provided at the point of e-scooter rental.
This data led us to our partnership with Freewheel.co.uk. We’re excited for our riders to benefit from their personal, lightweight, durable and comfortable Lazer helmets, which can be delivered to riders’ homes or collected from local cycling retailers.
Of course, our commitment to rider safety goes beyond providing riders with free helmets — education and training are key. Spin Safe is a free resource for all riders, providing tips on correct riding, parking and local rules. Fully 93 percent of riders in Milton Keynes said they feel confident that they understand the rules for riding and parking. This is a positive sign that we are doing the right things, but we are always looking for ways to improve as we look to offer our e-scooters to more communities across the UK.
*Research methodology: Survey is based on feedback from 1,193 riders and users in the UK and U.S. in November 2020. Of this, 502 respondents were in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom and 691 respondents in Baltimore, Portland and Tampa in the United States. Survey focused on riders’ willingness to wear helmets and preferences for price points and accessing helmets. Respondents were 50/50 between those that have taken a trip on Spin (riders) and those who have not (users).