A primary feature of electric bikes is that they have specialized motors that offer a power boost. Due to this, the rider does not have to pedal as vigorously to keep moving. These bikes usually offer smoother rides, faster speeds, and warrant less work and effort from the rider. In general, e-bike crashes can occur just like any other bicycle wreck. But due to the motorized part of e-bikes, there are various key differences. E-bikes can accelerate and move quicker, and they handle in a different manner compared to regular bikes.
People are usually not aware of this aspect. Thus, at times, motorists, pedestrians, and other riders can misjudge e-bike speeds, leading to devastating accidents and injuries. In e-bike accidents, other riders, automobiles, or pedestrians may be involved. The severity of such crashes largely depends on the parties and circumstances surrounding the accident. Sometimes, e-bike accident injuries can be serious, especially if the accident resulted in a collision between an automobile and an e-bike.
Research Highlights the Perils of E-Bikes
A study published in BMJ Journals focused on e-bike and scooter injuries and found that people riding electronic bikes were more likely to experience internal injuries and require hospitalization in comparison to those riding traditional pedal-operated bicycles. In addition, the study found that electronic bike-related injuries were thrice as likely to involve a collision with a pedestrian compared to either powered scooters or pedal bicycles.
The above study results indicate that scooters and bikes may be a threat to general maneuverability and safety. E-bikes can reach speeds of over 25 mph, and some riders do not operate these vehicles in a safe manner. Based on this, e-bike use, coupled with heavy foot traffic, can lead to severe biker-pedestrian accidents or even bike-automobile collisions. Additionally, negligent behavior on an e-bike, which can attain moderately high speeds, can cause serious falls or collisions.
E-bike Battery Catching Fire
An e-bike catching fire is unexpected and dangerous. You might have viewed videos showing e-bikes catching fire either during the charging time or while riding. An e-bike on fire can be a daunting sight for anyone. Most e-bikes contain Lithium batteries. These batteries are highly inflammable. A majority of these fires typically happen when home-made lithium batteries are subject to negligent treatment.
These fires are the most significant peril pertaining to e-bikes. But almost 80 percent of such fires could have been prevented with precautions and due care. For instance, never create your own battery pack unless you have conducted sufficient research related to it and fully understand what you are doing. For enhanced safety, always make sure to carry your batteries in a protective metal box when operating the bike. Also, a Battery Management System (BMS) helps reduce fire risks as well.
Remember to always purchase lithium batteries from a trustworthy dealer to ensure that it has the appropriate cell structure and design to support over-charging and high temperatures.
Excessive Acceleration at the Beginning
One of the biggest reasons for minor e-bike accidents is the application of excessive acceleration or starting from a high electric gear from a dead stop. Such crashes usually take place at very low speed and do not typically cause any serious damage. However, they can still be daunting to be involved in or witness.
Again, this reason for e-bike accidents is preventable if due care is exercised. For instance, if you are riding a throttle e-bike, never apply full throttle unless your electronic bike starts moving. On top of this, consider a switch installation to allow you the choice of various power levels during rides. Before commencing on a long ride, make sure that your controller and throttle are appropriately dialed up.
If you have a pedelec e-bike, ensure that you don’t start off at a gear (for instance, POWER mode). Start at a lower gear (such as ECO or even OFF) and then slowly accelerate as you pick up speed.
Not Following Traffic Regulations
Incredulously, most e-bike collisions occur not because of any internal defect in the design or idea of the e-bike, but how the users treat their vehicles. To begin with, appreciate the fact that an e-bike is basically a hybrid between a regular motorcycle and a regular bicycle.
In most jurisdictions, riding e-bikes is not as regulated as operating motorcycles. But the functions and speed of an electronic bike are similar to a low-performing motorbike in many ways. When an e-bike rider ignores this fact, the situation can become dangerous. For instance, you may not have legal obligations to follow specific speed limits or road signs when riding an e-bike. However, following these regulations could ensure the safety of riders and others on the road.
Hire an Experienced E-Bike Accident Attorney
Many e-bike related accidents are preventable simply by using it the right way, i.e., as a bicycle and not a motorcycle. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in an e-bike accident, the dedicated personal injury attorneys at the law offices of Garmo & Garmo can help.
We can thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your accident to determine the cause as well as guide you on the best options to obtain compensation. To set up a no-charge consultation with one of our attorneys, call our La Mesa office today at (619) 441-2500.