Are Electric Bikes Safe

January 12, 2017 3:55 am Published by Picture of ebike traffic light switched to green 

As with any motorized vehicle it is important to take precautionary steps to ensure your safety.  While eBikes are no exception, they are safer than cars, scooters, and motorcycles.  NYCeWheels even states that riders are far less likely to get into an accident riding an electric bike than riding a regular bike. In this article, we will look at the good, the bad and the ways to protect yourself while riding an eBike.

eBikes Are Safer Than Other Forms of Transportation

Something you may not know about eBike riders is that, per a 2015 survey, at least 40 US states and Canadian provinces had a minimum operator age for e-bikes, typically 14 or 16 years of age. Why?  Because it’s a motorized vehicle and safety is, and should, be paramount.  Safety is why whenever a brake is pulled on an eBike, the motor automatically stops spinning.  This means that eBikes have a better breaking system than traditional bikes and, one could argue, cars.  The flip side to effective breaking is the ability to accelerate more quickly on an eBike than you can on a traditional bike.  Rapid acceleration is important so that you can keep up with slow moving motorized traffic, you can clear intersections more quickly, and when you control your rate of acceleration you don’t need to rely on momentum to get you up a hill and are more likely to stop at stop signs and red lights because it requires less effort to get back up to speed.

When it is all said and done, it’s important to point out that eBikes are safer than other forms of transportation. 

Dangers of eBikes

We would be irresponsible if we didn’t point out some of the dangers that come along with eBike riding.  One of the more common dangers is when riders apply too much throttle from a dead stop.  Luckily this common, user error typically happens when the rider is at a dead stop so injuries that could come from this are not serious.  One way to avoid applying too much throttle at take-off is to not apply any throttle until you are moving.  You can also lean forward on the handle bars when throttling to keep the bike from popping wheelie.  There are also safety concerns around lithium batteries and fork failure.   No motorized vehicle is 100% without safety risk.  That said, as mentioned above, eBikes are a much safer form or motorized transportation than some of the alternatives.

Safety Precautions

Just as you buckle your seatbelt when you get into a car and use your headlights for greater visibility, there are certain safety precautions you can take while riding your eBike.

  • Wear a helmet as well as knee and hand protectors. Helmets reduce the odds of head injury by 50 percent, and the odds of head, face, or neck injury by 33 percent.
  • Make sure that you are visible. Consider a reflective vest or adding reflectors to the front, back and side of your electric bike.
  • Don’t wear baggy clothing that could get caught in the bike chain or wheel.
  • As your mother has been telling you since you were 10, always wear shoes when you’re riding your bike and make sure the laces are tied.
  • We know it was the cool thing to do when you were a kid, but we strongly discourage you from allowing anyone to ride on the handlebars or any other part of the bike that isn’t made for a second passenger.
  • Obey all traffic signals.

Bottom Line

Are eBikes 100% safe?  No, but neither is walking, eating, or being sedentary.  The benefits of riding an eBike far outweigh the risks. Electric bikes are new.  They’re fun, economical, eco-friendly, healthy and the newest form of transportation.  But if you buy the wrong one you could end up hurting yourself and the bike itself will end up collecting dust in your garage and will do you no good at all.  For expert advice on choosing the right bike, you can always reach out to our team of experts and we would be happy to help you select the bike that is right for you.

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This post was written by Jason Behfar

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