E-scooters are an increasingly popular mode of transportation on the congested city streets of New York’s five boroughs. They are small enough to manoeuvre through slow traffic lanes and have a playful, sporty appearance, so it’s not surprising to see them more frequently.
What Is Considered an Electric Scooter?
An electronic scooter, or e-scooter, resembles a conventional scooter in that it has a floorboard, two wheels, and a steering handlebar. Unlike conventional scooters, this one is propelled by a battery-powered motor mounted on the wheel.
On a single battery charge, these vehicles can travel up to 31 miles at a maximum speed of 19 mph. Many have additional batteries, allowing riders to charge one while using the other. New York law classifies e-bicycles and e-scooters as distinct types of vehicles, despite their similar appearance and function.
E-Scooter Laws in New York City
As of November 2020, the use of e-scooters was permitted in New York City. Additionally, New York enacted a number of scooter-sharing laws that permit scooter companies to expand access to micromobility.
In New York, the minimum age to operate an e-scooter is 16, but a licence is not required. Helmets are required for riders aged 16 and 17, but are optional for riders aged 18 and older. Finally, riders cannot exceed 15 mph in speed. They may use bike lanes on roads with a maximum speed limit of 30 mph.
Regulations for E-Scooters in New York Parks
You must adhere to park regulations when riding an e-scooter in a park-managed area, including riding only on designated roads or paths and parking in designated areas. You can find additional information on the NYC parks website or at the entrance of each park.
Safety Tips for E-Scooter Riding in NYC
Your scooter provides significantly less protection in an accident than a car or truck. If you are struck by a vehicle, you will likely sustain severe injuries and suffer extensive scooter damage.
Following basic safety guidelines can help ensure your safety.
- Always wear a helmet (even when it is not required) to prevent traumatic brain injury.
- You may miss a honking horn or be distracted by traffic if you wear headphones.
- On downhills, decelerate; gaining too much momentum can make you unsteady and cause an accident.
- Use bike lanes whenever possible for increased mobility and protection from passing vehicles.
- Adhere to all New York City traffic regulations, including right-of-way, guided intersections, and slow speed limits in school zones.
Remember that, unlike car and truck drivers, you are not protected by a metal shell while riding a scooter. Although a helmet can provide some protection, your risk of catastrophic injury in a collision with a car is significantly higher than that of the other driver.
Driving defensively and adhering to these safety tips can reduce the likelihood of being involved in an accident.
What to Do If You’ve Been Involved in an NYC Scooter Accident
If you’ve been hit while riding a scooter, it’s vital that you call 911 for medical attention. Even if you do not feel injured, you may have a concussion or soft-tissue injury, and prompt medical attention can improve your chances of making a full recovery.
Call the police or file a police report, particularly if the driver flees the scene. Remember to hire a qualified personal injury attorney to represent your claim.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm
Contact Abrams Law Group for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in an accident and require legal assistance.