Which Traffic Laws Should Drivers Know About Scooters in California?
California has lots of scooters, lots of vehicle traffic, and lots of confusion about how everyone should share the road. If you’re confused about California scooter laws, you’re not alone!
As California scooter accident lawyers, we’ve seen many catastrophic crashes that result from scooter users and other motorists not knowing the law. Here are the laws to keep in mind whether you ride a scooter or drive any other vehicle.
Scooter Riders Have a Right to Use the Road
Let’s start by pointing out that scooter riders have a legal right to be on the road. Scooters are treated like any other motor vehicle in California, in terms of being allowed to ride on the roadways in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Most scooters are allowed on our state’s bikeways, trails, and paths unless prohibited by a local ordinance and some are even allowed on our highways when properly equipped. So this means people shouldn’t see a scooter and think, “Why don’t they get off the road?”
Scooters Can Play Tricks on Your Mind
Sometimes other motorists don’t even see scooters, failing to notice them until the moment they collide with one. After the collision, they tell the police the scooter seemed to come out of nowhere.
Sharing the road means everyone needs to keep their eyes peeled for scooters. Their small size makes them hard to see among big vehicles and their easy maneuverability means riders sometimes dart in and out of traffic.
Plus, a small-size object can play tricks on your mind, making you think that it’s farther away than it is. For this reason, another driver might not anticipate that a scooter is close enough for an imminent collision.
Sharing the Road With Scooters
Some standup scooters and e-scooters are in a grey area where they’re not pedestrians and not actual motorists. While they’re certainly allowed to be on the roads and should share it with other vehicles, they should ride as far to the right as possible and allow traffic to pass them.
When you pass this type of scooter, treat it like a cyclist. A cyclist is allowed to be on the road just like a motor vehicle, but they don’t necessarily flow with traffic the same way. They’re supposed to allow traffic to pass while staying far to the right.
Give a good distance and pass these scooters carefully. Don’t whip past them at a high speed because if they waver or swerve just a small amount, you could hit them.
Avoid Legal Battles By Avoiding Scooters
Were you injured in a scooter accident or did you hit someone? Talk to a lawyer at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers about understanding who’s at fault. In the meantime, here are a few important things to keep in mind.
First, it’s each person’s responsibility to drive carefully and keep their eyes on the road. Don’t drive distracted, drunk, or otherwise irresponsibly, or you could injure or kill a scooter user.
As you approach a scooter rider, notice whether it’s one of the larger scooters that’s riding with the flow of traffic or whether it’s a small, standup scooter hugging the right side of the road. Give them a nice, wide berth accordingly and keep your eye on them for sudden movements.
Take extra care at intersections and wherever scooters commonly ride. Watch for sudden left turns in front of you. If you see a scooter coming toward you at a 90-degree angle, play it safe, wait for them to clear the intersection, and then proceed.
By treating scooter riders with extra caution, you’re taking a proactive step that could save lives. At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, many of us are scooter riders and cyclists. We thank you for driving cautiously and keeping California’s roads as safe as possible!
We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After an accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many types of personal injury claims, including scooter accident claims. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.
The laws you really want to pay attention to if you’re on a scooter, a sit down scooter like a Vespa, would be all the same traffic laws that motorists pay attention to. However, you really just want to make sure that you’re visible, you’re not riding in blind spots, and you’re keeping up with the flow of traffic. Like on a scooter, maybe your scooter only goes 30 miles an hour, that’s fine, but if you’re in an area where people are going much faster than that, you want to stay in the right lane and over to the right-hand side. And you definitely want to abide by any traffic signals, traffic lights, stop signs.
What I like to do, especially if I’m at a four way stop, I like to make eye contact with whoever else is there so they know they see me and they know I’m going. So you really need to be on the defensive, you want to make sure people see you. If you’re going to do any sort of lane splitting, you want to do it with caution and with care, don’t just be zipping in and out of things, people may not see you and so you need to be very careful with that.