Many might wonder how safe electric bikes are, as they are getting more popular by the day. It is normal to have reservations about something you haven’t tried, but e-bikes are as safe as other means of transportation. There is no activity without its inherent risks. But bikers must obey the road rules, maintain their equipment and ensure personal safety to reduce the risks of riding to the barest minimum. This article aims to show you the possible safety issues you might encounter with your electric bike and tips to put your mind at ease as you ride.
Electic bikes are a very safe option for transporting yourself from place to place. But as a rider, you must observe safety measures on the road, personally, and with your equipment.
E-bike Road Safety
One of the safety concerns associated with electric bikes is the lack of road laws because they are a rather newly classified type of vehicle. However, depending on the motor used, the class three electric bikes can run at a speed of up to 30 miles per hour.
The primary issue with riding on the road is that many bikers still use bicycle lanes, breaking some road rules. Electric commuter bikes are generally faster than regular bicycles, thus being more susceptible to accidents. But you should note that they do not let you speed at hazardous levels.
Here are helpful tips for teaching you important safe practices concerning road safety rules:
Learn the hand signals
Poor knowledge of road signals could put other vehicles and passers-by in danger of being in an accident. When riding on the road, bikers should ensure they ride with traffic and not against it, reducing the chances of a crash.
Traffic laws include lights, signals, and road signs used by cyclists and other vehicle owners and must be obeyed. Avoid cycling on the sidewalks to avoid putting yourself and pedestrians at risk of injury.
Be aware of other vehicles.
Car drivers might not know how fast your bike is moving and generally assume that you are moving slower. So, avoid accidents by allowing cars to get their way first and being patient at intersections and turns.
E-bike Equipment Safety
Regarding potential hazards related to the bike, the greatest concern would be about the batteries, particularly the Lithium ones. These batteries should be used and disposed of with extra caution because they are highly combustible if not handled properly. For instance, you must ensure that your battery is kept above the freezing temperature while charging during the winter months.
The cold does not affect your batteries when you are riding your electric bikes. So anytime you find yourself riding in the rain or snow, endeavour to avoid riding through puddles to prevent water from entering the gears and causing them to rust.
Always keep your tires inflated:
Keeping your tires strong and your reflexes sharp to have better control while riding the bike is important. The treading of the tire must be checked to determine if they are worn or not. This occurs more commonly with electric bikes than regular bicycles. Due to the presence of a battery and a motor, the weight of these vehicles is higher than that of regular bikes, with a difference of about 20lbs. So, bikers must exercise extreme caution when manoeuvring, moving, and lifting their bikes. But vice versus, electric bikes is more friendly to heavy rider since they can handle a larger weight limit, for example, KBO Step through electric bike for heavy rider has a 300lbs payload.
E-bikes have a safety feature:
The braking system brings it to a halt and causes the motor to stop spinning immediately. This system is more sophisticated in electric bikes than regular bikes, making it easy to stop and continue riding with these vehicles. So, you can stop at red lights and stop signs because it requires little or no effort to get back to speed. Riders can accelerate faster on an e-bike, which gives them better control over the speed it is going at. All that is needed to slow down and speed on is a little momentum, unlike regular bikes.
E-bike Personal Safety
Personal safety practices are of great importance when riding an e-bike or using any other means of transportation. Electric bikes are as safe as riding a traditional bike, according to studies. But if the rider is elderly with age higher than 65 years, there is a slight increase in the risk of danger. This is not any different with regular bikes too.
The most commonly used bikes among elderly riders are the pedal assist types, making them more accessible. It might also be a little difficult for people of this age group to mount and unmount an electric bike. Therefore, it is as used that they exercise caution while doing these.
Below are some personal safety tips to prepare you for a safe ride:
- Helmets must be worn during any rides to protect the head. This reduces the chances of suffering severe head injuries by 50 per cent and neck and face injuries by 33 per cent.
- Install rear-facing mirrors on your e-bike to stay aware of the traffic and vehicles behind and around you. This helps with spotting nearby cars, which might not make as much noise to catch your attention. So, these mirrors are an essential safety tool.
- Always ensure that you stay visible. When riding on the road, other drivers and pedestrians must be able to see you clearly at all times. So, this means you have to get lights and reflectors for your electric bike, especially if you are on a night ride.
It is obvious to everyone that the risks associated with owning and riding an electric bike are quite low, so long as you are a cautious rider who follows the road, personal, and equipment safety tips. As soon as you decide to own an e-bike, you must endeavor to update your knowledge on how to stay safe before, during, and after rides. Obeying your area’s road laws and speed limits, maintaining your equipment, and understanding personal safety measures will help a great deal in staying safe and enjoying a wonderful biking experience.
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