Just recently, the New York City council approved numerous bills making electric bicycles and scooters legal for private use in the area. The program will be available to allow companies to apply for permits that would make them legal for operation in many parts of the city.
While there are many companies out there that are happy with the legalization of e-bikes and scooters, it’s important to note that safety must be a top priority. There are still considerable issues that may exist, especially as more electric bikes and scooters are introduced to the road with drivers who may not be aware of how to operate with them nearby.
Riders on these vehicles, much like motorcyclists, must take extra precautions since a collision with a vehicle could cause terrible injuries to the scooter or e-bike rider. It’s vital to ensure that there is a focus on keeping riders safe as the program moves forward.
If you suffer an injury, contact us today at (718) 690-3132.
Why Are Electric Bikes and Scooters Dangerous?
Much like motorcycle accidents, vehicle drivers often fail to see the e-bike or scooter rider until a collision occurs. This is especially true when the vehicle involved is a truck or bus where the driver is seated higher above the roadway. And just like motorcycle accidents, the riders on the scooters and e-bikes who may suffer significant injuries.
A collision involving someone on an electric bike or scooter can lead to some of the most catastrophic injuries since riders don’t have the same protection as motorists. There’s no metal frame to prevent from ejection of the scooter or e-bike. There’s no seatbelts or airbags that can help in the event of an accident. Instead, riders are susceptible to serious or life-threatening injuries.
Riders on electric bikes and scooters can suffer the following types of injuries:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash
- Internal organ damage
It’s important to ensure safety is a part of the program, including the use of helmets to prevent some of the most severe harm. However, in many cases, even the use of protective gear cannot prevent bad injuries from occurring.to the riders.
What’s Behind the Legalization of E-Bikes and Scooters?
There are many differing opinions when it comes to the legalization of programs involving electric bikes and scooters. Who benefits the most from this decision? While there are many riders who can enjoy the freedom of electric scooters and bikes like motorcycles, the companies applying for permits stand to benefit as well.
One councilmember says that legalizing e-bikes and scooters will help certain workers; however, there is not only concerns about riders on sidewalks, but the councilman also acknowledged the profits that private companies stand to benefit from because of these relaxed rules.
A spokesperson for an electric bike and scooter company called these alternatives the safest and healthiest option in the world following COVID-19. While many New Yorkers have wanted greater access to scooters and bikes, it’s important to recognize the potential dangers that exist and ensure there’s rider awareness regarding problems.
The top speeds for these electric scooters and bikes are generally 20 and 25 miles per hour, and there will supposedly be enforcement for any users who act recklessly on these vehicles. But the significant concern is regarding motorists who do not pay these vehicles the same respect on the road, much like the dangers faced by bicyclists and motorcyclists.
How Can a Rider Avoid Potential Harm?
While it’s not always possible to avoid an accident completely, there are a few things that riders can do to stay as safe as possible, much like motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Here are just a few tips that riders should utilize whenever they’re on the road.
- Always remain visible whenever on an electric bike or scooter
- Follow the laws on the road, including speeds, traffic signs, and more
- Keep a safe distance from other vehicles on the road
- Watch out for pedestrians and ensure they’re safe
- Wear reflective clothing
- Ensure that your scooter or e-bike has visible reflectors and/or lights
Riders must take extra precautions as they run a potential risk of catastrophic injury. If there’s a situation in which a driver in a passenger vehicle collides with an electric bike or scooter, it’s important to understand that the vehicle operator may be legally responsible for any injuries. Here are a few tips to protect yourself if an accident occurs. Seek immediate medical care if the injury is severe. If physically able, gather information on the at-fault vehicle including photographs of the vehicle, driver and license plate. Contact the police to write a report. If the police fail to come to the scene, try to get the license and insurance information from the driver. Records the names and phone numbers of any witnesses.
Because this is a brand new area of law and there is bound to be some confusion regarding issues following an accident, it’s vital for anyone who suffers injuries in an accident to speak with an experienced attorney who can help in the situation. Working with a lawyer if you sustain an injury helps you recognize your rights and options throughout the process to get a better idea of what comes next.
At Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices, we recognize the new legalization of e-bikes and scooters can be helpful, but we also know of the potential dangers that exist for riders. We have many years' experience representing bicyclists, pedestrians, motorcycle, scooter and moped riders. We work hard to build a strong case for those who suffer injuries to recover compensation for your injuries.
Our New York personal injury lawyers are ready to guide you through the process when you need us most. Let us be your voice in a difficult situation so you can focus on your recovery while we work to handle the legal matters on your behalf.
Call our firm today at (718) 690-3132 if you suffer harm because of someone else’s negligent actions.