Electric Scooter Safety in Florida: What You Need to Know

According to an article from the New York Times, Paris recently became the first major city in the world to completely ban rented electric scooters from its streets after a referendum in which Parisians voted overwhelmingly to approve such a ban. 89 percent of those who voted were in favor of the ban, but many proponents of keeping electric scooters criticized the fact that only 11 percent of eligible voters voted in the referendum. They also noted that Paris was moving to add additional bike lanes to permit the use of electric bicycles rather than electric scooters and that rented electric scooters were becoming less common anyway as the companies that offer them for rental have shifted more towards pushing the rental of electrical bicycles. Privately-owned electric scooters will be exempt from the ban. Efforts to introduce the ban were prompted by the three deaths and 459 injuries that Parisians and/or visitors to the city suffered while riding electric scooters in 2022.

Electric Scooters Safety, Bans, and Florida Laws

Electric scooters became legal in Florida pursuant to legislation that passed the Florida Legislature and was signed into law by Governor DeSantis in June 2019. To ride an electric scooter in Florida, a rider must be at least 16 years old, but is not required to have a driver’s license. Electric scooter riders have the same rights and responsibilities that bicyclists have on Florida roads, including the ability to use electric scooters in bike lanes. Only one rider per electric scooter is permitted and no insurance is required to ride electric scooters in Florida.

Safety Concerns with Electric Scooters

Electric scooters come with serious safety concerns that can make them more likely to be involved in accidents than other types of vehicles and can also result in those who are riding these vehicles suffering more serious injuries if they are involved in, for example, a motor vehicle accident. For example, electric scooter riders are completely exposed, so they can easily go flying off their scooter if involved in an accident. This can be fatal, particularly if the rider strikes his or her head given helmets are not required on electric scooters.

Two other safety concerns unique to electric scooters are electric scooter rider experience levels and the lack of turn signals on these vehicles. Given that electric scooters are such a new form of transportation, both drivers and electric scooter riders often do not understand the proper way to interact with other traffic on the roads. This can lead both the electric scooter riders, as well as, nearby motor vehicles to fail to anticipate scenarios that can lead to collisions. There are also no turn signals on electric scooters and in many places riders have the freedom to choose where to ride (whether on the sidewalk or on the road). This can be extremely confusing for other drivers, which can make accidents more frequent.

Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. If You Have Been Involved in an Accident Involving an Electric Scooter

Electric scooters and their riders have exploded in popularity since they were first legalized in Florida in 2019, but they continue to be involved in more accidents as their use has increased. This is no doubt part of the reason that Parisians voted to ban them from Paris’s streets. At Schwed Adams & McGinley, P.A. our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 200 years of combined legal practice representing victims of motor vehicle and other accidents in Florida, including both those injured in an accident who were riding an electric scooter as well as those injured in accidents in which an electric scooter was involved. Given the increasing prevalence of electric scooters on the roads of Florida, accidents involving these vehicles are only expected to become more common in the future. Therefore, if you, a family member, or a loved one have been injured in an incident involving an electric scooter, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A today at 877-694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation.