Electric bikes are more similar to conventional bikes, especially in terms of safety and risks.
Electric bikes are just like normal bicycles but equipped with electric motors and batteries.
One has to still pedal the e-bikes to go from one place to another but they are just faster than conventional bikes.
If you are wondering how much safe are electric bikes?
Well, then really not much to be concerned about as long as you follow the traffic laws and personal safety rules.
However, electric bikes are the more technologically advanced version of normal bicycles so there are always some dangers and risks involved with every invention.
In reality, electric bikes are quite safe and the chances of being in an accident or getting injured are similar to riding any normal bicycle.
One has to follow the safety protocols while traveling via any mode of transport.
Even pedestrians have to follow the traffic safety rules to avoid any accidents. The same rules apply while riding an electric bike.
Although, we admit there are few safety levels and risks that are associated with every particular invention electric bikes are no exception.
To make your e-bike riding experience more enjoyable and safe, you are advised to follow the traffic guidelines laid down for e-bikes, personal safety rules, equipment safety parameters, and level of speed riding on e-bikes that are different from one state to another and based on classification of electric bikes.
In this article, you will learn about the risks involved in riding an e-bike which is quite similar to riding traditional bicycles, and how to take avoid them by adopting standardized security measures.
Risks Associated With Electric Bikes
There are few risks associated with e-bikes that are common traditional bikes and others are specific to e-bikes.
As we have told you earlier e-bikes are one of the safest and cheapest modes of transport and electric bikes are very safe for on-road and off-road terrains.
Most of the accidents that happen on an e-bike are due to personal carelessness and disregard of traffic and personal safety rules.
Some of the electric bikes provide a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour which is quite exhilarating.
Therefore, specialized traffic rules are implemented regarding e-bikes safety all over the US and these rules also vary in every state.
Here are some risks associated with electric bikes:
1. Risk to pedestrians
Electric bikes are very similar to traditional bikes and they do not make any loud engine noise. In many states, electric bikes can only be a ride in bicycle lanes but due to their fast speed and low noise pedestrians don’t feel unaware of their presence until it’s too late.
This has become the topic of many debates over the past few years and the government has asked the manufacturers to provide a bell on new e-bikes to avoid this issue but there are still no mandatory rules that every rider needs to follow this obligation.
If every e-biker takes it as a moral obligation and equipped their bike with a bell or horn this risk can be eliminated quite easily.
2. Risks due to the high level of speed
Electric bikes are divided into 3 classes based on their maximum operating speed- Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3.
Class 1 bikes are much similar to traditional bikes and their speed level is not that high.
On the other hand, Class 2 and Class 3 bikes pose many risks of accident due to the high level of speed and slow reflex actions to both pedestrians and riders.
Therefore, many rules are implemented state-wise as per the category of e-bikes that riders are legally obligated to follow.
Still, we would advise all e-bike enthusiasts to mind the speed as it could take some time to get adjust to new technology and always start from low-speed levels.
3. Risks involved with equipment or batteries
Unlike, the above two. This risk is directly associated with e-bikes. Despite being similar to traditional bikes, electric bikes have more components like a battery and motor.
There are risks of your battery dying in the middle of nowhere getting electrocuted on a rainy day or catching fire due to overheating.
There are always some risks involved with new inventions. The probability of these risks is very low and manufacturers develop e-bikes and batteries considering these risks.
Such risks are very common with any electrical appliance. Thus, we would advise you to invest in good e-bikes from manufacturers who have already taken precautions against battery dangers and temperature fluctuations.
4. Risks involved in adapting technology
This risk is both personal and technological. The increasing popularity of e-bikes and their wide suitability for all age groups make them more desirable.
As electric bikes are faster than traditional bikes they pose more threats.
According to a recent survey, e-bikes are more adaptable to the age group 18-60. old riders have low reflex actions and a high level of speed can increase the chances of injury.
You can find out more about E-Bikes in another blog where I have talked about that are e-bikes are dangerous or not?
Standardized E-Bike Safety Practices
Still being one of the new modes of transport some rules are placed according to e-bikes classifications.
As we told you before, electric bikes are as safe as traditional bikes some safety rules very common as well.
We have divided the e-bike safety protocols into 3 sections for your convenience below:
Road Safety Measures
While riding an e-bike, it is advisable to follow road safety rules to avoid any accidents and injuries.
1. Obey state traffic rules according to your e-bike classification category
2. Learn the hand signals to inform other vehicles and pedestrians before changing lanes and so on.
3. Ride with traffic and not against it to decrease the risk of being involved in an accident.
4. Be aware of your surrounding and be patient. Let the cars and big vehicles passed first to avoid any accident. The electric bike might be faster but they have low-speed levels in comparison to other vehicles on the road
E-bike Equipment safety measures
you might not realize but most of the equipment risks involving e-bikes are only related to their batteries.
Electric bikes run on lead or lithium-ion batteries that need to be handled with care and under professional experts.
Manufacturers have already taken all the measures regarding risks involved with batteries which you can find in the product description in detail.
Electric bikes are also equipped with sensors that allow controlling speed and temperature fluctuations.
Electric bikes are safe to ride in different weather conditions and below freezing points so the risk of the sudden battery dying is very rare unless you forget to recharge your battery.
As e-bikes are heavier than the traditional bike they could put a strain on tires so be aware and keep your tires inflate always.
You also don’t have to worry about the motor running due to sensors.
Once you stop pedaling, e-bike motors stop too due to speed sensors. It allows you to control your speed and stop at will.
Braking mechanics in electric bikes are also advanced. Most e-bikes are equipped with hydraulic disc brakes which allow the riders to stop in an instant.
You can learn more about Federal Law for Electric Bikes at ncsl.org.
Personal Safety Measures
Here are some personal safety measures one can follow to protect themselves in case of an accident.
1. Always wear a helmet to protect against brain injury or concussion
2. Accessorize your e-bikes with rear-facing mirrors to get a better view of the traffic behind you
3. Install blinking lights, headlamp, and taillight for safe night rides
4. Stay visible to other vehicles. Many cars and big vehicles have blind spots and they can’t communicate or signal you without seeing you.
5. Do not wear baggy clothes while riding e-bikes or bicycles and also make sure that your shoes are tied properly to avoid them caught between tires, motor, or chainset.
Are electric bikes safe?
Yes, they are as safe as traditional bicycles. The risk of being in an accident or being injured due to their technological evolution is very low as the manufacturers develop them keeping these facts in mind.
The increased speed is a major concern but it is more a personal issue and responsibility of every rider.
Experience and skilled e-bike enthusiasts always obey the traffic rules according to their e-bike category and state rules and follow the personal and equipment safety measures.
Electric bikes do not pose any more threat traditional bikes still we would advise you to invest in certified e-bikes from reputed manufacturers.