After a bill passed in 2020, New York citizens could rent electric scooters to ride around the state. These rental scooters became extremely popular as a way to navigate through congested streets quickly to ensure busy New York citizens could get to work, school, and important meetings on time.
They also became popular because everyone over sixteen could rent them, so young people could use electric scooters to traverse New York City.
However, the freedom offered by rental scooters is regulated by New York laws that establish how riders should behave and where they can ride the scooters.
Many other scooters and electric “micro-mobility” vehicles, such as mopeds, gas scooters, and electric bikes, have different rules. Before using an electric scooter, it’s essential to know the rules to prevent mistakes that can break the law and cause an accident.
What is an Electric Scooter?
An electric scooter is similar in design and function to a regular scooter you may have used as a child. It has a floorboard that you can stand on, two wheels to help with movement, and a handlebar to steer. However, an electric scooter has a battery-powered motor that sits above the wheel that can propel the scooter forward faster than a regular scooter.
Electric scooters are not limitless vehicles, as they have only 31 miles of battery power before needing to recharge. Electric scooters can go up to 19 miles per hour, allowing people to navigate New York’s busy streets faster than walking. Now, locations across New York City allow riders to rent electric scooters.
2020 New York Bill Allowed Rental Scooters
On April 1st, 2020, the New York City Council legalized electric bikes and scooters. However, there were restrictions on some classes of electric scooters with top speeds under 20 miles per hour. That all changed in November 2020 when the New York City Council passed a bill that removed these restrictions to allow riders to use these vehicles in New York.
The new bill also affected delivery drivers that use electric bikes and scooters to prevent “unequal crackdowns and summonses of their bikes by the New York City Police Department.” This bill democratized electric bikes and scooters, allowing everyone to use them without worrying about legal trouble.
Do New York Rental Scooter Riders Need to Have a Valid Driver’s License?
Those renting electric scooters to ride around New York do not need a valid New York driver’s license. People can begin renting electric scooters in New York when they turn sixteen, which could be before they obtain a driver’s license.
However, young rental scooter riders under eighteen must wear helmets while on their electric scooter. Helmets are optional for riders above eighteen but can help prevent blunt-force trauma to the head during an electric scooter accident that can cause traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
Where Can You Ride a Rental Scooter in New York?
Most rental scooter users will ride their electric scooters on streets, as navigating through the foot traffic on sidewalks can be hard. Electric scooters can only be used on streets with speed limits of less than 30 miles per hour. Electric scooter riders can also travel in bike lanes on roads with a speed limit of less than 30 miles per hour. The speed limit for all electric scooters is 15 miles per hour.
There will be times when a rental scooter rider will want to use their scooter in New York parks. In that case, they are subject to the rules administered by the parks department. They must comply with that park’s rules about riding only on designated roads and paths.
The Dangers Presented by Riding an Electric Scooter
Despite New York legalizing electric scooters, riding one around New York City can still be dangerous. There is heavy traffic, and drivers can cause accidents through reckless driving. Some negligent driving behavior that can cause an accident includes distracted driving, speeding, and drunk driving. One mistake can expose an electric scooter rider to life-altering blunt-force trauma.
Electric scooter riders have very little to protect them from the impact of a collision, as there is no structure like a car has to shield them from impact. They can take the brunt of the accident head-on and experience severe injuries due to the accident’s impact. People that use electric scooters should be aware of the dangers and use their scooters safely to prevent significant injuries.
Should You Hire a Lawyer to Help With Your New York Rental Scooter Accident Claim?
Victims of New York rental scooter accidents can file personal injury claims to pursue compensation for damages, such as medical bills, lost earning potential, and pain and suffering. Handling these types of claims can be difficult for victims with personal injury claim experience. Hiring a New York electric scooter accident lawyer can help, as they have the experience and expertise to handle the claims process properly.
The following are some ways a New York electric scooter accident lawyer can help with your claim:
- Calculate the full cost of your economic and non-economic damages
- Determine who caused the New York electric scooter accident
- Explain New York rental scooter laws
- Collect evidence to prove the at-fault party’s negligence
- Speak to eyewitnesses and expert witnesses
- Negotiate a fair settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company
- Represent you in New York court
Contact Cellino Law for Help With Your New York Rental Scooter Scooter Accident Claim
The rental scooter accident lawyers at Cellino Law can help you with your claim to pursue compensation for damages. Despite becoming legal in 2020, riding an electric scooter can still be dangerous, with negligent drivers possibly exposing riders to accident risks.
Our rental scooter accident lawyers can help you pursue compensation for serious injuries caused by a separate negligent party. They can use their experience in other types of vehicle accidents to put you in the best position to recover fair compensation for damages.
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