Electric scooters accidents are popping up in South Florida, and now one unlucky rider died in a crash with a car on a busy Fort Lauderdale street.
Florida law lacks specifics to deal with the proliferation of e-scooters like Bird, Lyft, Lime, and Bolt now popular in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
In Florida, mopeds, electric scooters, and motorized bicycles are not treated the same as motorcycles. Motorized scooters with seats are permitted on the road. Drivers also need a license plate and to register their scooter with the DMV.
But when it comes to e-scooters, the law remains murky. According to Florida statute, motorized bikes and some motorized scooters (those without seats) can’t be on the road. Yet, their use on sidewalks is uncertain.
Where do you ride?
Where are e-scooter users supposed to ride? Electric scooter companies tell users to ride in bike lanes. They also tell riders to wear helmets and park near bike racks. In practice, however, scooter riders rarely wear helmets, nearly always use sidewalks, crowding out pedestrians, and park wherever they want.
Do you need insurance?
And insurance isn’t required, but that doesn’t mean you’re not liable if you’re in an accident. If you’re involved in a crash, you might be financially responsible for injuries and property damage. If you’re renting an electric scooter, the companies all waive their rights. In other words, it’s on you if you hit something or someone.
Chances are the proliferation of electric scooters will prompt changes in the law. Some cities are opting to stay away from e-scooters entirely and ban electric scooter companies entirely.
However, if you need a little speed in your life and decide to hop on a scooter, be careful, wear a bike helmet (even if you look goofy) and ride safely.
If you’re in an electric scooter accident and don’t know what to do, call us at 954-475-9666. We’ll review your case at no cost.