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Anyone traveling through many Michigan cities has seen them by now: electric scooters (also called e-scooters), lined up for use by anyone willing to pay a fee. All you do is give the e-scooter your banking information, through your cellular phone, and activate the e-scooter for a ride through town. When you are done with your ride, you simply leave the e-scooter in a safe place to be activated by someone else. Here are a few things you should know about the newest rideshare fad:

What Qualifies as an E-Scooter?

E-scooters fall under MCL 257.13f, the state’s legal definition of electric skateboards. But they do not qualify as a motor vehicle. MCL 257.33

Are They Legal To Ride?

State law says an e-scooter user has, “all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle” when being ridden on the street. MCL 257.657. But you must follow all state laws when riding an e-scooter. A sampling of state law requirements are:

  • E-scooters cannot be used on public roads by those under 12 years old;
  • E-scooter riders under age 19 must wear a crash helmet;
  • Crash helmets must be a style approved by the State of Michigan police;
  • E-scooters cannot carry more than one person at a time;
  • E-scooters may not be driven above 25 mph;
  • When in the roadway, riders, “shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable and shall exercise due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.”
  • Riders cannot group together more than two e-scooters side-by-side unless they are on a path designated exclusively for e-scooters;
  • When there is a path designated for bicycles is provided adjacent to a highway or street, e-scooter riders may, by local ordinance, be required to use that path;
  • You may ride e-scooters on the sidewalk but, “shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing the pedestrian.”
  • An e-scooter must have a front light visible from 500 feet, and a red rear reflector visible from at least 100 feet when riding between a half-hour after sunset and a half-hour before sunrise.

MCL 257.658, 257.660, and 257.662

Aside from following state laws, e-scooter ordinances vary by city – so be sure to check your local laws before you ride. The City of Detroit, for instance, states that “Users of scooters should operate the vehicles in a safe manner, keep the public right-of-way clear, and follow any additional rules from the company they rent their scooter from.” When you are done using an e-scooter in Detroit, Section 50-2-1 of the Detroit code requires that the machine is left in a way that avoids obstructing public streets, sidewalks and other public spaces.

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Are They Safe To Ride?

A June 6, 2019, Detroit News article stated, “As stand-up electric scooters have rolled into more than 100 cities worldwide, many of the people riding them are ending up in the emergency room with serious injuries. Others have been killed. There are no comprehensive statistics available but a rough count by The Associated Press of media reports turned up at least 11 electric scooter rider deaths in the U.S. since the beginning of 2018. Nine were on rented scooters and two on ones the victims owned.”

An October 5, 2019 article in the Detroit Free Press noted, “…electric scooters are leaving more than broken bones in Detroit. Doctors at Detroit Medical Center are dealing with dislocated limbs and head trauma injuries that represent a new and dangerous pattern of accidents.”

Are You Entitled To No-Fault Benefits If You Are Injured While Riding An Electric Scooter?

Possibly! As stated above, e-scooters do not qualify as a “motor vehicle” under Michigan statue. But you may be entitled to No-Fault PIP benefits if you own a motor vehicle covered by a No-Fault policy that was active when you suffered an e-scooter injury. This means you could be eligible for coverage of your medical bills, wage loss, or other benefits even though you were not driving a motor vehicle when you were injured.

Are You Entitled To Pain And Suffering If You Are Injured While Riding An E-Scooter?

Again, it depends. You can sue a negligent driver for pain and suffering if you were injured while riding an e-scooter. However, there are many requirements to bring a successful pain and suffering lawsuit. For instance, you must meet the Michigan state law requirements requiring that you suffered a serious impairment of an important bodily function, among other requirements.

What Should You Do If You Are Involved In An Electric Scooter Accident?

You should contact an electric scooter lawyer immediately! If you have been injured while riding an e-scooter, you may be able to recover for your injuries. Call 855-MIKE-WINS first to see if you have a case.

Electric Scooter Accident & Scooter Injury Lawyers Proudly Serving Southfield, MI, Detroit, MI, Rochester Hills, MI, Warren, MI, Redford, MI Farmington Hills, MI & The Surrounding Areas

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