Dangers Unique to E-Bikes
Electric bikes are a fun new alternative to traditional bicycles. These electric bikes allow riders to zip through town without as much physical energy. Most electric bicycles use motors to augment the pedals, but some use motors exclusively. We all know the dangers of riding a motorcycle and a bicycle. But as e-bikes become increasingly popular, we should analyze the safety of these gadgets. Are they just as dangerous as a motorcycle? More? Less?
Here are dangers unique to electric bikers that are a good idea to be aware of. These especially apply to people riding high powered electric bikes capable of high speeds.
Dangers Unique to E-Bikes
An electric bike, or e-bike, has an electric motor and runs on rechargeable batteries instead of being propelled solely by the pedaling of its rider as with a traditional bicycle.
The placement and power of the motor varies by e-bike, and batteries generally requiring recharging after between 20 and 100 miles. E-bikes come in different versions based how they are operated; some must be pedaled while pedaling is optional for others.
1. Too Quiet
E-bikes are also eerily silent. Unlike a regular bike where the motion of a rider’s feet creates sound, e-bikes do not create the expected noise one would expect to perceive when passing a bicyclist. Hearing is an important sense when it comes to road safety. An e-bike’s silence can be deadly.
2. Too Much Throttle
Too much throttle application or starting from a high electric gear from a dead stop is among the biggest causes of minor accidents related to e-bikes. As such accidents often occur at a very low speed, they do not usually cause any serious damage.
3. Battery Catching Fire
There have been numerous reports of lithium fires on electric bike rides, and also while the bike is charging. The majority of modern e-bike batteries are well designed and safe to use. The battery technology is progressing further and upcoming designs will be less heavy, more performant and less and less dangerous. Nearly 80% of these fires could be avoided with due care and precautions.
4. Forgetting You Are on a Motor Vehicle
For some reason, the silence and bicycle-like appearance of electric bikes can entice people to do silly things that defy common sense. Electric bikes may feel like a regular bicycle, but the dangers are real. Always remember that you are on a motor vehicle and resist the temptation to pass other cyclists at higher speeds. Do not weave in and out of traffic. And remember to use your hand signals.
5. Not Obeying Traffic Signals
This danger is akin to the one above. Believe it or not, most accidents with e-bikes are not because of any inherent fault in the design or idea of the e-bike but how the riders treat their vehicles. For starters, appreciate the fact that an electric bicycle is basically an in-between product of a regular bicycle and a regular motorbike. Many bicyclists do not respect stop signs or stop lights. Because they are on a bicycle they are not risking infractions on their driving records, and the tickets for breaking a law such as running a red light are a minor ticket much like jaywalking. When on an electric bike you are going at much higher speed than on a bicycle so the consequences are much more severe.
Driving of e-bikes in most jurisdictions is not yet as regulated as driving motorbikes. However, it is worth noting that the speed and functions of an e-bike are in many respects similar to a low-performing motorcycle. An e-bike becomes dangerous when its rider forgets this fact.
6. Bearings Locking Up
This is a potential problem specific to powerful mid drives. If any of the freewheel bearing lock up it can cause the pedals to go at full speed with the pedals knocking the riders shins and possibly causing a crash.
7. Stuck Throttle
E-bike throttles can get stuck in the wide open position unexpectedly. On a high power electric bike this is another one of those nightmare scenarios that can cause a serious accident. For this reason you should consider some kind of emergency cut off and/or have high quality hydraulic disc brakes that are able to stop the rear wheel even at full throttle.
8. Age Related Risks
It has been found that e-bikes may present a higher risk to elderly people than they present to other age groups. Various research studies have concluded that the risk possessed by e-bikes are pretty much similar to risks possessed by regular bikes for age groups 11-60.
So, e-bikes may not be treated as dangerous to ride as compared to bicycles or even motorbikes. However, it is also true that the risk tends to rise and may become double in certain cases for people aged 60 and above.
This can be explained in terms of elderly people having, on average, higher body weight, weaker reflexes, not as strong health, and less understanding of how modern e-bike work in various situations during a ride.
Call An E-bike Attorney – CALL DUQUE LAW!
Electric bike accidents are often serious in nature. We understand that you are in a difficult time of life if you have been injured in an e-bike accident. We want to help by making this trying time as smooth and easy as possible for you. If you or a loved one sustained a minor or severe injury in an e-bike accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The statute of limitations requires that you file a lawsuit related to an e-bike injury within two years, so you should speak with an accident lawyer as soon as possible to better understand your legal rights and options.
Personal injury cases are difficult and require a skilled attorney. Do not try to take on the insurance company lawyers by yourself. Time limitations apply to any injury claim you might have, so for purposes of investigating a possible case and possibly preserving evidence, it’s best for you to contact us immediately after an accident.
Since our attorneys see many cyclist accidents throughout the year, we know how to obtain fair compensation for your injuries. Contact our experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at 1-877-241-9554 to learn more about your legal options. A free consultation is just a phone call away. You can even use our online contact form, and we will reply to you quickly.