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Michigan Electric Skateboard Laws: What You Need To Know

June 9, 2022 by Steven M. Gursten

The electric skateboard laws in Michigan generally require riders to follow the same traffic laws that apply to cars and trucks, except that electric skateboards can be driven on both certain roads and on sidewalks. They also cannot be driven at more than 25 mph. Riders must be 12 or older. Helmets must be worn by riders under 19.

What is an electric skateboard?

An electric skateboard is a skateboard with an electric engine that allows the skateboard to reach speeds of up to 25 mph. It may also “be designed to . . . be powered by human propulsion.” It may also have handle bars. (MCL 257.13f)

The Michigan Vehicle Code also notes that an “electric skateboard” is “a wheeled device that has a floorboard designed to be stood upon when riding that is no more than 60 inches long and 18 inches wide.” It “is designed to transport only 1 person at a time” and its electric engine can have no more than 2,500 watts of power. (MCL 257.13f)

Do I need insurance for an electric skateboard?

According to the Michigan electric skateboard laws, you do not need to purchase No-Fault auto insurance for your electric skateboard. It is not considered a “motor vehicle” for No-Fault insurance purposes because it is not “a vehicle . . . that is operated or designed for operation on a public highway by power other than muscular power.” (MCL 500.3101(3)(i))

Can I sue for pain and suffering compensation if an at-fault driver hits me on my electric skateboard?

According to the Michigan electric skateboard laws, if a car hits you or causes an accident that injures you while you are riding your electric skateboard, you may be able to sue to recover pain and suffering compensation. You must still show that the negligent driver who hit you was 50% or more at fault in order to bring a lawsuit and obtain compensation for your injuries.Do I get No-Fault benefits if a car hits me while on my electric skateboard? (h2)

You are legally entitled to recover Michigan auto No-Fault PIP benefits if you were injured by a car or truck while you were riding your electric skateboard. The insurance company responsible for paying your No-Fault PIP benefits will be either your own auto insurer, and if you do not have one, the insurer of your spouse or a relative who lives with you.

If No-Fault benefits are not available from any of the above sources, then you will seek benefits from the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.

Michigan No-Fault auto insurance PIP benefits will pay for medical expenses, lost wages, medical mileage (transportation expenses for traveling to and from doctor and medical appointments), household replacement services and attendant care services.

To recover No-Fault benefits, you must first file an application for No-Fault benefits – which is also called a “written notice of injury” – with the responsible auto insurance company within one (1) year after the car accident. (MCL 500.3145(1) and (4)) 

Unfortunately, if you do not file your No-Fault application for benefits on time – within ONE YEAR from the date of your electric skateboard-automobile crash – then you will be forever barred from claiming, recovering and/or suing for the PIP benefits that you would otherwise have been legally entitled to.

Do I have to follow Michigan’s traffic laws when I’m riding my electric skateboard?

Yes. The Michigan Vehicle Code provides that “[e]ach person riding . . . [an] electric skateboard . . . upon a roadway has all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle . . .” (MCL 257.657)

How many people can I lawfully carry on my electric skateboard at one time?

According to the Michigan electric skateboard laws, you can only transport one person on it at a time. By definition, an electric skateboard “is designed to transport only 1 person at a time.” (MCL 257.13f) Additionally, the law also states that “an electric skateboard shall not be used to carry more than 1 person at a time.” (MCL 257.658(3))

Do the Michigan electric skateboard laws require me to wear a helmet while riding?

You should always wear a helmet when you are riding your electric skateboard as it helps protect against traumatic brain injuries. However, Michigan electric skateboard laws only requires users “less than 19 years of age” to “wear a crash helmet on his or her head.” (MCL 257.658(4))

Is there an age limit for riding on an electric skateboard?

According to the Michigan electric skateboard laws, jo one under the age of 12 (i.e., 11 years of age or younger) may ride one “on a public highway or street.” (MCL 257.658(9))

Where are the rules for riding an electric skateboard on the road?

According to the Michigan electric skateboard laws, riders “shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable.” Riders “shall not ride more than 2 abreast.” Lane splitting, i.e., passing “between lines of traffic” on the broken white line, is prohibited. (MCL 257.660(1), (3) and (5))

Do I have to use a bike path?

If a “designated path for bicycles is provided adjacent to a highway or street,” you may be required to use it for riding your electric skateboard if a “local ordinance” requires you to do so. (MCL 257.660(4))

Do the Michigan electric skateboard laws allow me to ride it on the sidewalk?

According to the Michigan electric skateboard laws, you may ride your electric skateboard on a “sidewalk constructed for the use of pedestrians,” but you must “yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian” and you must “give an audible signal before overtaking and passing the pedestrian.” (MCL 257.660(6))

What is the electric skateboard speed limit?

According to the Michigan electric skateboard laws, it must not be driven at more than 25 mph. (MCL 257.660(11)) Technically, if the skateboard can travel at more than 25 mph, it may no longer be an “electric skateboard.” 

Generally, electric skateboards cannot be operated on roads with speed limits of more than 25 mph, except to cross under limited circumstances. (MCL 257.660(11))

Where can I park my electric skateboard?

If your electric skateboard has handlebars, you may be able to park it on the sidewalk or in a parking space for “motor vehicles” on a highway or street under certain circumstances. (MCL 257.660d)

An electric skateboard with handlebars can be parked on a sidewalk so long as it is not prohibited and the manner in which it is parked does not “impede[] the lawful movement of pedestrians and other traffic.” (MCL 257.660d(1) and (2))

Similarly, unless otherwise restricted by a “local ordinance,” an electric skateboard with handlebars can be parked in a parking space on the street so long as it does not “obstruct the movement of a legally parked motor vehicle.” (MCL 257.660d(3-5))

What does the Michigan electric skateboard laws say about lighting?

According to the Michigan eIectric skateboard laws, if you are riding your it “on a road way between 1/2 hour after sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise,” then you must have white lamp on the front and a red reflector or lamp on the rear. Both lights must be visible from 500 feet from the front and from the rear. (MCL 257.662(1))

Were you injured in an electric skateboard accident? Call the injury attorneys at Michigan Auto Law

If you were injured by a car or truck while riding an electric skateboard and you have questions about your legal rights to pain and suffering compensation, economic damages and auto No-Fault insurance benefits, you can speak to an experienced car accident lawyer at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation. You can also get help from an experienced No-Fault insurance attorney by visiting our contact page or you can use the chat feature on our website.

Michigan Electric Skateboard Laws: What You Need To Know

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