Ride at Your Own Risk: Scooters’ Dark Side Exposed
- 1. How are electric scooters normally defined or described?
- 2. Which injuries are most frequently reported by e-scooter and e-bike riders?
- 3. Accident Statistics
- 4. Electric Scooter Laws and Regulations
- 5. Post-accident Guidelines
- 6. Liability and Responsibility in Scooter Accidents
- 7. Proposed Laws and Regulations
- 8. Contacting Legal Help
- 9. Frequently Asked Questions About Scooter Accidents
- 10. What is the definition of an electric scooter according to state laws?
- 11. What are common injuries sustained in e-scooter accidents?
- 12. How many scooter-related accidents were reported in NYC in the first half of 2022?
- 13. Are there laws governing e-scooter usage on sidewalks in New York?
- 14. Is it mandatory for children to wear helmets while riding e-scooters in New York?
- 15. After an e-scooter accident in New York, what immediate steps should one take?
Although many of us have pleasant memories of riding scooters as kids, the more modern, motorized versions of them can quickly turn dangerous. In fact, on Father’s Day 2023, a six-year-old boy in East Harlem suffered multiple skull fractures and other injuries after a man riding a blue scooter hit him. The accident occurred near Jefferson Park on East 111th Street and First Avenue.
Early reports indicate that the boy suffered a “bleed on his brain.” He was taken to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center for treatment. This awful event caused many New Yorkers to recall the tragic scooter accident that killed the highly talented actress, Lisa Banes, just over two years ago. Recently, the scooter driver in that accident received a prison sentence of no more than three years. That’s a hauntingly light sentence for an innocent person’s death.
The following materials provide a brief review of state laws that govern the use of electric scooters and the types of injuries often sustained by surviving victims. The article also addresses general liability issues – and attempts to change how these vehicles are regulated.
How are electric scooters normally defined or described?
V.A.T. Law Section 114-E states that an electric scooter can be defined as any device that weighs less than one hundred pounds, has a floorboard and a seat, and can be ridden by the operator by standing or sitting on it. In some cases, owners can simply propel themselves forward on their own human power.
Which injuries are most frequently reported by e-scooter and e-bike riders?
- Fractured bones
- Road rash
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Amputation of limbs or digits
- Spinal cord injuries
- Deep cuts and skin lacerations
- Burn injuries
- Painful neck and back injuries
- Soft tissue tears and nerve damage
Too many scooter-related accidents keep happening in New York and across the U.S.
- During the first six months of 2022, six hundred and eighty (680) people were injured in New York City scooter-related accidents. That reveals a sixteen percent (16%) increase over the same period one year earlier.
- E-scooter and e-bike batteries keep causing many serious burns and other injuries.
- Consumer Reports surveys and studies have revealed dangerous e-scooter and e-bike riding habits.
- The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has revealed certain statistics about e-scooter and e-bike accidents.
Electric Scooter Laws and Regulations
- New York state forbids e-scooter riders from using these devices on sidewalks.
- It’s illegal to ride an e-scooter under the influence of alcohol or forbidden drugs.
- Riders must always grant the right-of-way to pedestrians.
- No one under the age of 16 can ride an e-scooter or e-bike in New York.
- All riders under the age of 18 must wear helmets.
- Call 911 and ask that an ambulance be sent right away.
- Move yourself out of harm’s way as quickly as possible.
- If possible, take photos of the accident scene.
- Keep the clothes you were wearing at the time of your accident.
- Avoid signing any unverified statements.
Liability and Responsibility in Scooter Accidents
Various considerations play into determining responsibility in e-scooter accidents. Expert attorneys are pivotal in ensuring that accident victims get the justice and compensation they deserve.
Proposed Laws and Regulations
There are several important laws and regulations that aim to enhance the safety and accountability surrounding e-scooters and e-bikes.
- Senate Bill S7610: This focuses on the proper reporting of injury accidents.
- Senate Bill S1376: A new bill requiring licensure and the creation of a safety manual for riders.
- Mayor Eric Adams’ new law about e-scooters and e-bikes sales in NYC.
- Initiatives by City Councilmember Robert Holden regarding e-scooters and e-bikes.
Contacting Legal Help
If you have suffered injuries after an e-scooter accident, it is imperative to get in touch with an experienced law firm. Such professionals can guide victims through the complexities of the legal system, ensuring the best possible outcomes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Scooter Accidents
What is the definition of an electric scooter according to state laws?
An electric scooter is defined as any device weighing less than one hundred pounds, equipped with a floorboard and a seat, and can be operated by either standing or sitting on it.
What are common injuries sustained in e-scooter accidents?
Common injuries include fractured bones, road rash, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, internal bleeding, amputation, spinal cord injuries, deep cuts, burn injuries, neck and back injuries, and soft tissue tears.
How many scooter-related accidents were reported in NYC in the first half of 2022?
During the first six months of 2022, there were 680 reported scooter-related accidents in New York City.
Are there laws governing e-scooter usage on sidewalks in New York?
Yes, in New York state, e-scooter riders are forbidden from using these devices on sidewalks.
Is it mandatory for children to wear helmets while riding e-scooters in New York?
Yes, according to V.A.T. Law Section 1286(1), all riders under the age of 18 must wear helmets when riding e-scooters.
After an e-scooter accident in New York, what immediate steps should one take?
Call 911, move to safety, document the scene with photos, gather witness contact information, keep accident-related items (like clothes), and avoid signing statements without proper legal guidance.