We woke up this morning to find that the electric scooter rental invasion has reached St. Lucie County! If you’ve been to cities like Atlanta or Miami recently then you have seen them before. Technology companies like Bird and Lime (and now “Spin” here in Fort Pierce) have placed thousands of rental electric scooters across hundreds of US cities. We’ve got to admit they do look like a good time! We saw them in front of a number of St. Lucie landmarks like the Backus Museum and Chuck’s.
We first wrote about the rental electric scooter fad last year when we noted that so far we had not seen any in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, or along the Treasure Coast. Frankly, we were surprised they came here so quickly but progress marches on. The ridesharing economy, which we’ve discussed here and here, is here to stay. While the scoters really look fun (and we plan to hop on one ASAP!), folks should remember that some of these electric scooters can reach 25 miles per hour when traveling downhill! A collision at that speed could cause a head injury which would require lifelong nursing care for a rider who is not wearing a helmet. Fortunately, there are not many hills in St. Lucie!
Riders should remember that a rider on an electric scooter who has an accident with a car is very similar to a rider involved in a bicycle accident or a pedestrian accident. When a pedestrian, or a scooter rider, is involved in an accident with a car or truck, it is the person who is not in the 4,000 lb vehicle who is likely to suffer a personal injury. Indeed, personal injury lawyers have filed lawsuits against Bird, Lime, Xiaomi, and Segway alleging the scooters are dangerous and defective.
Florida law says that a motorized scooter is a vehicle “not having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider, designed to travel on not more than three wheels, and not capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on level ground.” While an electric personal assistive mobility device (like a “Rascal”), as defined in s. 316.003, is specifically authorized by State law to be operated on a road or street where the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or less, these two wheel Bird/Lime scooters don’t seem to fit that definition. In Miami, the City Commission passed an ordinance for these electric scooters for Downtown, Brickell, and Coconut Grove. We’ve seen that here in Fort Pierce, some “designated areas” and no-go zones were established.
When a personal injury results from a car accident involving an electric scooter, a ridesharing accident, or a pedestrian accident, the insurance aspects can become very complicated. Anyone involved in one of these accidents should contact an experienced accident attorney to protect your rights.
Injury attorney Todd C. Passman, P.A. handles auto accidents, ridesharing accidents, pedestrian accidents, and bicycle accident cases serving Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Stuart, and Okeechobee, Florida, and surrounding areas.
Tell us about your problem. We can help.
If you, a family member or a friend have suffered a personal injury in an accident, or have questions please contact accident attorney Todd C. Passman today, at (772) 465-9806.