Electric Scooter and Electric Bike Crashes with Other Vehicles in Coral Springs
On October 21, 2022, 18-year-old Camdan McWright, a freshman running back for San Jose State, was riding an electric scooter when he was hit by a school bus. Tragically, due to the collision, he died. In recent years, catastrophic electric scooter accidents like this one are on the rise across the United States.
Electric scooters (also known as “E-scooters”) and electric bikes (“E-bikes”) can be fun, convenient, and relatively inexpensive ways to travel and avoid the traffic in local areas, especially in places like Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. You see them all over Miami downtown and also Fort Lauderdale.
You can purchase an E-scooter or E-bike for a reasonable price (many models cost less than $1,000), or you can rent an E-scooter or E-bike from one of the many rental companies that have started popping up in South Florida. In some places, you can even rent an E-scooter through your Uber or Lyft app.
Call (954) 833-1440 or contact us online to get started with a free case evaluation with our Coral Springs attorneys.
E-Scooter and E-Bike Accidents are Becoming More and More Common
E-scooters and E-bikes are a cost-efficient alternative to driving a car. You can use your E-scooter or E-bike for personal use to get from place to place, to travel to and from work, or even for providing food and package delivery services.
BUT ARE THEY SAFE, AND IS PURCHASING OR RENTING ONE OF THOSE AN INTELLIGENT DECISION?
As more and more people choose the electric scooter as their means of transportation, accidents involving electric scooters are on the rise, as well.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, injuries to persons using E-scooters, E-bikes, and hover boards jumped 70% between 2017 and 2020. “Much of the increase between 2017 and later years was attributable to ED visits involving e-scooters, which rose three times as much, from 7,700 (2017), to 14,500 (2018), to 27,700 (2019) and 25,400 (2020).”
If you or someone you love was riding an electric scooter or bicycle and was injured due to an accident with another vehicle, call our office today for a free consultation. Our attorneys have decades of experience representing individuals who were injured in motor vehicle collisions throughout Florida.
On the other hand, if you had an accident while riding an E-scooter or E-bike that was due solely to your failure to know how to properly ride the electric vehicle (as opposed to an accident caused by a driver of another vehicle such as a car, SUV, or truck), regrettably, we probably won’t be able to help you (there is a good chance that when you rented or purchased the E-scooter or E-bike, you signed an exculpatory clause that relieves the rental company or the maker of the electric vehicle of liability for your failure to properly ride the vehicle).
E-Scooter Laws Are Frequently Changing in Florida
When using an E-scooter in Florida, you have to be particularly mindful of local rules and regulations governing the use of E-scooters. While E-scooters are now legal in Florida, counties and cities are permitted to enact restrictions on the use of E-scooters on streets, highways, sidewalks, and sidewalk areas within the county or city’s jurisdiction.
For example, in the City of Miami, you can only ride an E-scooter in certain designated areas in Coconut Grove, Brickell, Downtown Miami, Midtown, Edgewater, Morningside, and Wynwood (east side of N. Miami Avenue and east only).
Additional rules and regulations in the City of Miami include:
- You have to be at least 18 years old to operate an E-scooter (and parents cannot allow their minor children to operate an E-scooter).
- You cannot go faster than 15 miles per hour on streets and bike lanes and 7 miles per hour on sidewalks.
- Only one person can ride the E-scooter at a time.
- You are not required to wear a helmet, but the city strongly encourages people to do so.
These are some of the rules that are in place in the City of Miami as of today (in November 2022), but the rules frequently change, and you need to make sure to keep up with the latest changes before you start riding an E-scooter anywhere in Florida.
The Dangers E-Scooter and E-bike Riders Face
Drivers of motor vehicles have a legal duty to safely operate their motor vehicles on the streets and highways in Florida. The problem, as anybody who has spent any time in South Florida is keenly aware, is that drivers very often fail to safely drive their vehicles and, as a result, cause collisions with other vehicles.
This is especially troubling for E-scooter and E-bike riders, who will often ride their electric vehicles on streets and bike lanes/paths. E-scooter and E-bike riders regularly travel right next to, or even in the same lane as, cars, SUVs, and trucks.
Ask any motorcycle rider or bicyclist, and they will surely tell you about how drivers of cars, SUVs, and trucks are often not adequately watching out for motorcycle riders and bicyclists. Drivers of cars, SUVs, and trucks change lanes without noticing the motorcycle rider of bicyclist in the lane, or they pull out of driveways or parking lots without taking a good look at their surroundings. As a result, accidents happen.
The same goes for E-scooter and E-bike riders: drivers of cars, SUVs, and trucks often aren’t watching out for E-scooter or E-bike riders, either. Since they fail to notice the E-scooter or E-bike nearby, drivers of cars, SUVs, and trucks frequently cause collisions and serious injuries for E-scooter and E-bike riders.
If you are involved in a collision while riding your electric scooter, you are likely to be tipped over or ejected over the handlebars. Since many jurisdictions do not legally require E-scooter riders to use a helmet, many E-scooter riders choose not to not wear a protective helmet while using their electric scooter. Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries are very common for E-scooter riders involved in collisions with other vehicles. The authors of one study on E-scooter helmet use concluded that only 4% of E-scooter riders who presented to the emergency room reported wearing a helmet at the time of the collision.
Tips on Avoiding an Injury While Riding an E-Scooter or E-Bike
Although riding E-scooters and E-bikes can be a fun and frugal way to commute, these electric vehicles present unique dangers, and you should always take the necessary precautions to prevent an injury. This includes:
- Wearing a helmet.
- Ensuring you are visible to other commuters on the road.
- Installing a bell or horn (and using it when necessary).
- Avoiding busy streets.
- Traveling in bike lanes/paths.
- Being aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Driving your E-scooter or E-bike cautiously.
- Following all relevant laws in your area
If you were injured in a collision with another vehicle while you were riding an E-scooter or E-bike, call Law Offices Cytryn & Velazquez, P.A. at (954) 833-1440 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.