Electric Bike Safety Tips

The latest wave of modern transportation is the E-bike or electric bicycle. This new type of transportation is designed to assist the rider by providing an extra boost of power when the rider is tired and does not wish to pedal so much.

What is an ebike?

This is a bicycle with a small electric motor attached to it that provides a secondary source of propulsion. The primary source is still manually operated pedals. The power assist provides enough boost to propel the bike up to 20 mph.

What are the safety precautions when riding an E-bike?

The basic precautions a rider should take when operating  an electric bike are very similar to a standard bicycle.

  • Always wear a helmet
  • The wearing of goggles or eyeglasses
  • Always wear shoes
  • Wear reflective or highly visible tight fitting clothing

If you do decide to buy an ebike it is also possible to take out electric bike insurance to provide further cover and protection

Why is loose fitting clothing discouraged when riding an ebike?

Loose fitting clothing is indeed comfortable to wear, but on an electric bike it is a hazard. The loose fitting pants can become entangled in the chain which could cause an accident. The loose fitting clothing will also flap in the wind causing resistance which will slow the rider down.

Long or untied shoelaces can also become entangled in the chain or wrapped around the pedal and cause the rider to become unbalanced. Make sure all shoelaces are tied and not flopping around.

What is the recommended safety equipment an e-bike can be fitted with?

Back 50 years ago, little thought was given to safety equipment on a bike. In time that has changed. The first was the reflectors on the front and back of the bike along with some in the wheel spokes and on the pedals.

Today it is recommended and in some places mandatory that electric bikes be equipped with lights, mirrors and even a horn. These items make it easier for the rider to view what is behind them without having to turn around. They also help others to hear and see the rider easier.

Can an ebike be ridden in bad weather?

With the proper equipment on the electric bike, they can be safely ridden in rain and snow.

  • The battery, motor and all electrical fittings should be covered with watertight enclosures or tape. This will prevent any possibility the rider getting electrically shocked.
  • Fenders should be fitted to the Ebike so the spray generated by the tires as they channel the water will not splash on the rider.

Are there any riding tips when on the road?

One of the most important things an ebike rider should remember  they are considered part of the traffic on the road. Because of this always ride in the same direction as the other vehicles. Unless you are taking a left turn, it is required that the Ebike only travels on the right side of the road near the shoulder.

Since the ebike makes no noise it is safest for the rider to always be on the lookout for other vehicles that do not see them. The danger areas include intersections and when passing or being passed by other vehicles. Do not take it for granted that you are seen. Always be ready to take evasive action to avoid another vehicle that does not know you are there.

The speed you travel at should be close to are the same as the other vehicles if possible. With a top speed of an Ebike at 20 mph, it is best for those riding to stay off the highways.

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