No words can describe the joy you feel when you own an e-bike. At the same time, it’s common to take some time before you get familiar with the bolt of speed. You may initially feel frightened, but the fun begins when you feel at ease behind the wheel!
E-bikes are undoubtedly fun to ride, but simultaneously, you should also be aware of their risks.
They have the power to go as swiftly as an arrow, and at times, it can lead to accidents.
A US study report shows that 40% of e-bike accidents occur when the rider falls off, 32% in collision with other cars, and 8.5% when riders hit against fixed objects.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t signify that e-bikes are unsafe or the most dangerous mode of transportation. Accidents occur when one fails to adhere to the right safety rules.
Neither does it indicate that you should keep your e-bike out of sight forever.
Rather, it would be best to equip yourself with crucial safety tips to avoid accidents, which I’ll discuss in the rest of the blog.
Stay with me!
Safety Tips to Help You Avoid E-Bike Accidents
Training is Essential
Gaining knowledge never harmed anyone, and if you’re a newbie to e-bikes, acquiring proper training is the first step to safety. Knowing how to use brakes efficiently and various maneuvering techniques will help you enhance rider control. Maintaining your e-bike is sometimes included in the training scope; this guides a rider in identifying the common e-bike problems and their immediate solutions.
Enrolling in a professional training center will enable you to acquire the best defensive riding practices and improve your awareness of traffic rules and road conditions, instilling confidence. It will also help you make more informed decisions and create a safe riding experience every time.
Invest in Proper Safety Equipment
Whether driving a car or e-bike, safety equipment is your best friend. Proper safety gear is essential as it protects against potential accidents and consequences.
Below are the essential safety equipment pieces every e-bike rider must possess:
The importance of wearing a helmet can’t be overstated. It protects your head and brain in a fall or collision. Furthermore, head injuries can often be severe and result in disability. Always choose a helmet that fits snugly and make sure the adjustable straps are working appropriately. As per your country, you can also check if your e-bike helmet adheres to any certification.
This type of jacket ensures all-time visibility on the road. You can ride worry-free as the jacket’s fluorescent color maximizes the visibility factor for other drivers, whether it’s raining, foggy, or at night.
These jackets are designed to offer superior functionality and freedom of movement when driving an e-bike. They also feature useful pockets to help keep essential stuff like e-bike repair tools within reach.
Gloves offer protection against abrasion injuries and improve your grip on the handlebars.
Wearing knee and elbow pads is crucial as they protect you from injuries by cushioning your knees and elbows in case of a slide or fall.
When riding your e-bike, it is advisable to wear secure and comfortable close-toe shoes. Avoid wearing flip-flops or slippers, as they can slide off. Proper footwear enhances control and reduces the risk of foot injuries.
Bright lights are a vital safety component for four-wheelers, normal bikes, and e-bikes. Make sure to equip your e-bike with both front and rear lights and indicators—these alert others to your presence and intentions. Choose lights with at least 1,000 lumens for better visibility on the roads.
You wouldn’t want your e-bike to become a permanent thrill ride for others. Hence, enhance your e-bike’s security with a sturdy lock. Bike theft is a common concern in any part of the world and the right lock can deter thieves. As per the best practice, you can use two types of locks – U-locks and chain locks.
U-locks are lighter than chain locks but most secure if they’re thicker. On the contrary, chain locks entail more locking options and are most effective against angle grinders compared to bolt cutters.
You can lock your e-bike on two anchors; if that is inconvenient, select a strong anchor.
Mount and Dismount Your E-Bike Carefully
E-bikes weigh much more than regular bicycles. If you’ve newly shifted to an e-bike from a regular one, you need to be extra careful when mounting and dismounting it. It may take some time before you get accustomed to the additional weight of your e-bike.
Carrying your e-bike up and down for charging or going out daily (if there’s no garage at your house) can be risky. Incorrectly lifting a heavy e-bike exposes you to strains and muscle pulls, which can be avoided. You can choose a lightweight model, or if parking is an issue, consider parking at a garage closer to your home.
Implement Defensive Riding Strategies
Defensive riding is all about anticipating and preparing for potential dangers on the road. Adopting a defensive mindset can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and maximize your safety.
Following are some of the most effective defensive riding techniques to avoid accidents:
- Get comfortable with your e-bike by practicing in a controlled environment. Learn how to maneuver, turn, and brake smoothly to maintain control in various situations.
- Always follow the posted speed limits and adjust your speed according to road conditions. Slow down in congested areas or when approaching intersections.
- Stay alert and keep an eye on your surroundings. Scan for potential hazards, such as parked cars, pedestrians, and other cyclists.
- Intersections can be tricky. Slow down when approaching and make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you.
- The importance of obeying traffic rules can’t be emphasized enough. Stop at stop signs, yield when necessary, and use hand signals to indicate turns.
- Rain and snow can make e-bike riding challenging. Adjust your speed and braking distance in adverse weather, and consider investing in all-weather tires for better traction.
There is no denying the role of e-bike maintenance. Poor e-bike maintenance increases your potential for road accidents. Besides distraction, the failure of e-bike parts is also a significant contributor to mishaps.
Keeping your e-bike in a pristine state enhances the performance and helps prevent crashes. By maintenance, I mean taking good care of all the e-bike components that give you an adrenaline-pumping ride every time. This includes the tires, brakes, battery, and drive chain, among others. Need a comprehensive e-bike maintenance guide? You will know how to maintain all the e-bike parts effectively here.
Carry a Portable Fire Extinguisher
Ever heard anyone say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? I’ve heard many times and this holds true for every e-bike rider. In addition to e-bike maintenance, carrying a C rating or dry chemical fire extinguisher is suggested. Like any lithium-ion-powered devices, e-bikes too are at a risk of catching fire. It isn’t a common occurrence but being prepared for such an emergency is always a smart decision.
An e-bike can blaze up under the following conditions:
- Overcharging the battery
- Damaged battery
- Using the wrong charger
- Exposing the battery to extreme heat
- Inappropriate battery management
Related Read: How to Maximize Your E-Bike’s Battery Life?
When one of these occurs, you will require a fire extinguisher at the earliest as pouring water will only exacerbate the situation. So, keep a C rating or dry chemical fire extinguisher within reach, and most importantly, avoid doing the things mentioned above that will set your e-bike on fire.
It’s already accepted that e-bikes deliver an adrenaline rush like no other. But before exhilaration, safety always comes first. For those who want to know ‘if e-bikes are safe,’ it depends on how you’re riding them. Whether you’re driving a four-wheeler or an e-bike, your ride translates into a risk-free and more relaxing experience when equipped with the right safety gear and stick with the safety checklist I have illustrated in this blog. Wishing you the utmost safety on every ride!
A digital content writer by profession and a tech enthusiast by heart, the world of Electric Vehicles has always left me fascinated. And I am sure there are many like me who wish to know more and more about electric cars and bicycles. This has led me to share all the hottest news in this industry with my readers! Exploring new places, trying out different cuisines or binging on Netflix always brings a smile, of course when I am not writing!