E-bikes are an excellent way to get around. This is an eco-friendly and healthier way to travel, as well as really fun.
However, just because these are fun to ride that doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about safety. There are specific concerns that you need to watch out for when using an e-bike.
This article contains the advice that you need to ride any bike safely, including an e-bike.
Wear a Helmet
No matter what kind of bike you are riding, a helmet is the most important accessory you can wear. This one piece of equipment can save your life.
Head injuries on riders are extremely common after a bike accident. Around 1/3rd of the non-fatal cycling injuries are to the head. Annually, an estimated 80,000 of these head injuries are brain injuries.
Find a helmet that fits properly, as this ensures the most protection when riding.
Pay Attention to Traffic
Everyone on a bike needs to be focused on traffic, especially e-bikes. Electric bikes can go fast and oftentimes other drivers don’t anticipate these bikes going over 20 MPH. Cars and cyclists have an equal responsibility to each other.
As you ride your e-bike, make sure that you’re not only thinking about what your actions are but how other drivers perceive these actions.
Stick to Riding in the Lane
In order to be as safe as possible, riding in the lane is important. By traveling using the shoulder, you are less visible to traffic. Typically, drivers only look towards middle lanes for traffic. If you’re hugging the curb on the shoulder, they will be less likely to see you.
If you’re riding in the lane, make sure that you can maintain the posted speed limit of the road. Otherwise, this can also pose a risk to you.
Tires Should Always Be Inflated
The most obvious safety tip is to make sure that your tires are always properly inflated. You should check your tires before any ride, as this can impact how well the bike functions.
Another benefit to checking your tires before every ride is that you can catch any problems earlier. You can make sure that your tires aren’t worn out and replace them as soon as possible if they are.
Ride With Traffic, Not Against It
Another seemingly obvious tip is to make sure that you are riding with traffic, not against it. There are a lot of riders that insist riding against traffic is safer. This is because they can see the cars coming at them. But rarely do bicycles and cars have rear-end accidents.
You are more likely to get hit by a car and suffer more serious injuries because a car didn’t see you coming from the wrong side of the road. This is why you should stick with the same directional flow of traffic.
Practice Defensive Driving
Always drive as if the other driver is going to hurt you. While this isn’t usually the case, the fact is that it can seem like that when they misjudge your speed on the bike. Cars automatically think that just because someone is on a bike, they are obviously riding very slow. Except, that’s not usually the case especially for an e-bike.
This can become a more serious matter when you’re riding fast on the bike and the driver misjudges your speed, cutting in front of you because they think they have time. Drivers associate bikes with being slow, putting you in danger.
Practice defensive driving and you can reduce your risk of getting injured.
Make Sure You’re Visible
An issue that drivers in cars have with bicyclists is that they can be difficult to see. This is why it’s important for you to make yourself more visible.
This makes it important for you to put accessories like lights, bells, and reflectors on your bike. These can make you visible no matter what time of day you are, for other drivers on the road and pedestrians.
Don’t Go Full Speed Right Away
When you get a new e-bike, it’s normal to want to see just how much power it has. You want to push it to its speed limits. The problem is that this can lead to accidents, especially if you’re not used to how the bike handles.
Take the time to get a feel for your new bike. See how it feels at lower speeds and make sure that you’re comfortable with it before you start going faster.
Invest in Mirrors
Cars and motorcycles have side-view mirrors and so should you on your e-bike. These mirrors allow you to better see the rear of your bike, keeping you safer. It’s especially important when you’re backing out of space. Good mirrors can be an excellent investment in your safety.
Don’t Brake at the Last Minute
Braking is incredibly important when you have the speed and power of an e-bike. What this means is that you need to make sure that that you give yourself plenty of space to stop before coming to any stop signs or other required stops.
As you get used to your bike, you can learn to gauge your stops better. If this is a new bike, take the time to practice with it to learn the best time to start slowing down and braking.
Make Eye Contact with Drivers
A lot of bicycle accidents happen in areas like intersections because riders assume the driver saw them. This can be a dangerous assumption to make, leading to a potentially serious accident.
Remember the previous tip of driving defensively? This applies here as well.
Never assume that the driver sees you. It’s a good idea to make sure that you make eye contact with the driver. If they look directly at you and/or shows sign of acknowledging you, then you can proceed.
Riding an e-bike should be a fun experience. However, it can also be potentially dangerous as well. By practicing these riding tips, you can be as safe as possible on the road.
By Trevor Fenner
About the author:
Trevor Fenner is the founder of Electric Bike Paradise, the #1 online retailer of electric bikes, electric scooters, electric skateboards, mobility scooters, electric wheelchairs, and electric golf caddies. Trevor has been selling bicycles, electric bikes, and electric scooters online since 2010 and eventually established Electric Bike Paradise in late 2013 when he happened to meet a car enthusiast that introduced him to electric bikes. Trevor spent time searching for electric bikes online but couldn’t find a website that offered a wide selection of electric bikes, scooters, and informational articles. That is why he decided to start a website where everyone can shop conveniently, browse buying guides, and read educational posts. The website is called ElectricBikeParadise.com.