Wearing a helmet has not been an easy habit to instill for most electric scooter riders. Lugging a bulky helmet around doesn’t seem to fit with the free-and-easy image conveyed by this sassiest of micromobility devices. And, indeed, relatively few users don the protective headgear: One survey, from the specialized mobility insurance company Voom, claims that 80 percent of e-scooter users don’t wear a helmet consistently, and a spot-check of riders around any major city will confirm that impression.
Now Bird is encouraging helmet use by tapping into the formidable behavior-influencing power of selfie culture. The e-scooter company launched a new program, “Helmet Selfie,” to incentivize people into wearing their brain armor. Taking a helmeted self-portrait photo in the app at the end of the ride allows users to receive future ride credits.