Electric bikes, sometimes referred to as e-bikes, are becoming more and more popular these days. Touted as an easier bicycling alternative for older riders or those with disabilities, e-bikes can be dangerous depending on the circumstances. While you cannot prevent all accidents, the following safety tips will help decrease the risk of injury while riding an e-bike.
Make sure drivers can see you
Visibility is a concern, even with conventional bicycles. The problem is exacerbated by the speed of e-bikes, as these conveyances travel at a much faster pace. You can increase your visibility by affixing lights to your bike, especially when driving at night. Installing a bell or a horn is also recommended. Bells work well for signaling other vehicles, but they can also warn pedestrians as you are approaching an intersection.
Just because e-bikes can reach assisted speeds of up to 28 mph does not mean you must travel that fast. Pay attention to your surroundings when determining how fast you can safely go. For example, if you are traveling on a road with lots of traffic, including pedestrians, it is best to maintain a slower, safer speed. This will allow you to stop in time in case you encounter an unexpected hazard. Maintaining a safe speed is even more important if you are just learning how to operate an e-bike.
Get into a braking routine
Many e-bikers are surprised by how long it takes for the bike to come to a complete stop when riding assisted. If you are not familiar with a bike, ride it in a safe, non-congested area until you become acclimated to its braking ability. When traveling on the road, try to brake sooner than you would on a conventional bike when approaching an intersection. Much like anything else, practice makes perfect.