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The Safety of Electric Scooters on New York City Streets

January 25, 2021 in

Electric scooters were made legal on November 23rd, 2020 as an alternative means for traversing New York City. While they may pose as a convenient and accessible way to travel in lieu of a vehicle, many are questioning the efficacy of this mode of transportation in safely navigating one of the busiest cities in the country. Below, the automotive accident attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. provide an overview of the new law that allows riders with electric scooters to travel the Big Apple and how it may affect motor vehicle safety and injury rates.

 

An Overview of the Law That Allows Electric Scooters in New York

 

As of November 23rd, 2020, riders 16 years of age and up are permitted to use electric scooters and bicycles to navigate New York City. Riders under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet while operating their scooters. 

 

A catalyst of the law to be pushed into enactment was the increased urgency for alternative modes of transportation in the city during the pandemic. This law was especially beneficial for essential workers like nurses, hospital workers, retail clerks and trade workers alike who required a means of transit when other modes of public transportation were limited.

 

Safety Considerations Arising From Authorization of Electric Scooters in the City

 

While the use of electric scooters acts as a convenience and even a necessity for some New York City commuters, safety concerns have arisen regarding the use of scooters on congested streets. Several studies on electric scooter use conducted in cities around the country have documented a pattern of injuries suffered by riders operating their scooters recklessly, failing to wear proper protective gear, or neglecting to follow the rules of the road. Many adult electric scooters on the market can reach speeds up to 19 miles per hour, making them a greater risk for serious collisions and injuries to occur when operating scooters at higher speeds.

 

A USA Today article published on January 9th, 2020 presents a startling statistic that electric scooter injuries in the United States have led to nearly 40,000 injuries in four years—about 10,000 a year. According to the article, these injuries include broken bones, and head injuries in riders aged 18-34. Some reports have also linked stand-up electric scooters with more than one dozen U.S. deaths within the past several years. While electric scooters and bicycles may indeed be the future of traversing city streets as a preference to cars, buses and subway systems, proper precautions must be taken to ensure minimized safety risks for both riders, vehicle operators and pedestrians.

 

Consult a New York Automotive Injury Attorney If You Have Been Injured In A Scooter Accident

 

The New York automotive injury attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. have been closely following the progression of electric scooter accidents and injuries in New York since the adoption of this new law in November 2020. The health and safety of New York City residents are the utmost priority for our firm and we provide skilled legal counsel to victims of electric scooter injuries. If you were injured in an electronic scooter accident, you may be entitled to recover damages. Call the experienced and knowledgeable New York City car accident attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo, P.C., at (212) 732-9000 or contact us today.

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