The use of electric scooters is gaining traction throughout urban hubs in the state of Florida. There are several cities that have already invested in the “bicycle share programs” while some of them even offer “dockless” locations. The success of these alternative modes of transportation that are cheaper and better for the environment have prompted many people to ditch their four wheels and hop on a scooter to get from point A to point B.
While this seems like a smart solution, there is a bigger issue that personal injury attorneys throughout the state have seen. The interaction that electric scooter riders have with cars and trucks, especially on crowded streets, can result in serious injuries and even death. After all, seeing individuals on scooters is more challenging for drivers, making the possibility of an accident much higher.
Florida Laws for Electric Scooter Use
In the state of Florida, it is legal to ride an electric scooter in the bike lane (if available) and on the sidewalk. You have to be at least 18 years of age, or older, to ride.
It is considered illegal to ride on the yellow lines in between the lanes of traffic, or to pass other vehicles while on the scooter. There is no Florida law that makes it mandatory to wear a helmet while operating an electric scooter.
It’s also important to note that all motor vehicle laws also apply to electric scooters. This means if you are riding, you have to stop at stop signs and red lights, drive in the same direction as the traffic, and yield to pedestrians at all times.
The Most Common Causes of Electric Scooter Accidents in Florida
One of the biggest disadvantages scooter riders have when sharing the road with other vehicles is the fact they aren’t easily seen. They are hard to spot, and drivers aren’t always looking for them or paying attention to the road. Some of the main causes of electric scooter accidents caused by motorists include:
- A driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving
- A scooter rider is hit by someone opening a vehicle door
- A driver cuts in front of the scooter
- Failure to yield
Common Injuries in Electric Scooter Accidents
According to a recent study by UCLA, there has been a recent surge in the number of scooter-related injuries. Approximately 40 percent of those injured in this type of accident suffer a head injury mainly due to the no-helmet law in the state. The most common injuries caused during electric scooter accidents include:
- Scrapes and cuts
- Serious head injuries, concussions, brain bleeds, TBIs, etc.
- Broken bones
Similar to motorcycles, scooters don’t offer much protection against the outside elements. This means that the injuries sustained in these accidents are often serious or even life-threatening. It’s important to seek medical attention right away if you are involved in a scooter accident.
Determining Liability in Electric Scooter Accidents
Figuring out who is liable in an electric scooter accident is going to come down to who caused the injuries and the accident. In some cases, multiple parties may be held liable, which is why it is a good idea to consult with an attorney.
If you find yourself in this situation, let our legal team at Fetterman & Associates help. Reach us by calling (561) 845-2510.