A rideshare driver hit a man on an e-scooter in Brooklyn, highlighting potential risks as scooters and e-bikes expand nationwide

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Revel Scooter Collision DS

  • A person riding a Revel e-scooter was seriously injured when he was struck by what appeared to be a rideshare car in Brooklyn, New York, late Thursday.
  • It was not immediately clear whether this was the first major injury to a Revel or e-scooter rider in New York City since they rolled out in May.
  • The collision encapsulated the inherent risks as new forms of transit, including e-scooter and other micromobility vehicles expand across the United States.
  • This Business Insider reporter was steps away when the collision occurred and witnessed the aftermath.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A person riding a Revel moped-style e-scooter was struck and seriously injured by a livery vehicle in Brooklyn on Thursday evening.

This reporter was nearby and witnessed the immediate aftermath of the collision.

According to a police officer on the scene, a witness said the Revel scooter rider “ate the red light,” proceeding through an intersection against the light. 

However, another witness, Margaret Bishop, said that the driver of the Toyota sedan, which had Taxi and Limousine Commission license plates and appeared to be operating as a ride-share vehicle, was speeding. It was driving on a street running perpendicular to the scooter rider.

“I saw the driver blow right through the intersection,” Bishop said. “I think he was going 50 miles per hour.”

Revel Scooter Collision DS

The speed limit on New York City streets is 25 miles per hour, unless otherwise marked. It was lowered from 30 miles per hour in 2014 as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature Vision Zero traffic safety campaign.

It was not immediately clear whether the vehicle was engaged in a fare ride at the time of the collision.

The victim, who was not immediately identified, was thrown from the scooter, which slid about 10 feet down the street. He landed face down on the street, and appeared to be unresponsive. He was bleeding from the face and head, and did not appear to have been wearing a helmet — it was not clear whether he had worn a helmet that had flown off of him during the impact, or whether he did not wear one.

He began to regain consciousness and opened his eyes about five minutes after the impact, just as responding firefighters were arriving. He appeared to be confused.

As the firefighters rendered aid, police arrived and began asking the assembled crowd for witnesses. As an ambulance with paramedics arrived several minutes later, the victim appeared to be more responsive, able to talk and articulate where he felt pain.

The victim’s condition was not immediately clear. He was taken to Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, according to a police officer on the scene.

Revel Scooter Collision DS

The incident encapsulates the risks as transit systems continue to evolve and intertwine with the mobility sharing economy in cities around the US. 

E-scooters were legalized in parts of New York City in June, and Revel scooters were deployed throughout parts of Brooklyn and Queens that same month. The Revel vehicles — which resemble Vespa scooters, rather than ubiquitous e-scooters like Lime and Bird — require a driver’s license and are technically classified as mopeds. However, they do not have pedals and are capped at 30 miles-per-hour, meaning riders do not need a motorcycle license to drive them.

The scooters can be unlocked via an app, and drivers are required to obey traffic laws. Each scooter comes with two helmets — one large and one small — and Revel advises riders to use them. The service says that helmets are cleaned every few days.

While risks involved with bicycling and riding scooters on New York City streets are obvious, the understated risk with services like Revel are that riders are often inexperienced driving that type of vehicle. The same is true with e-scooters — studies have found a pronounced risk of severe head trauma from scooter accidents, and that as many as 66% of injured users were not wearing helmets.

Revel Scooter Collision DS

It was not immediately clear whether this was the first major injury to a Revel or e-scooter rider in New York City since they rolled out. A cyclist has filed a lawsuit against Revel after a rider allegedly hit him in June.

Ride-hailing services like Uber, Lyft, Via, and others have been prominent in New York City for years. Unlike other locations, New York City requires ride-hailing drivers and cars to be licensed as livery vehicles through the Taxi and Limousine Commission, and registered with a base.

Neither New York police, a hospital spokesperson, nor Revel immediately returned requests for comment late Thursday night.

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