Those who live in Portland and Vancouver may have noticed a rise in the number of people riding electric bicycles, also known as e-bikes. These bicycles have a battery and motor that make pedaling easier. E-bikes have exploded in popularity, particularly in the wake of the pandemic; according to one estimate, e-bike sales shot up by 64% in 2021. However, with these newer vehicles on the road, it’s essential to practice safe driving habits to reduce the likelihood of crashes or injuries. Here are a few tips for those considering traveling by e-bike in the near future.
Understanding Your E-Bike
Not all e-bikes are the same. There are three classes of e-bikes, so make sure you know what type of e-bike you have. Class 1 e-bikes can travel up to 20 miles per hour, as can Class 2 bikes (these also have throttle assistance). Class 3 bikes can go up to 28 miles per hour. Be mindful of the terrain you’ll be following, as certain paths may not allow e-bike use. Do your research ahead of time to ensure the route you choose is safe and suitable for your e-bike.
Follow the Rules of the Road
Treat your e-bike as you would any other vehicle. This means that you must obey stop signs and signal when you intend to make a turn. It’s important to exercise particular caution at intersections, as cars or pedestrians may not recognize that your e-bike can travel as fast as it can. When you fail to slow down properly at an intersection, you risk other drivers accelerating quickly and colliding with you. Whenever possible, make eye contact with other drivers at the intersection and proceed only when it’s safe to do so.
Prepare for a Potential Accident
Whenever we travel by vehicle, we assume a certain amount of risk. Even if you are alert and obedient on the road, accidents still happen. If you’ve suffered an injury in an e-bike accident or other vehicle collision, you should seek medical attention right away and collect the contact and insurance information of all relevant parties. While you focus on your physical recovery, contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to discuss your options for pursuing the compensation you need to get your life back on track.
Reach out to the skilled and compassionate personal injury attorneys at Henderson Taylor Law Firm today by calling our Vancouver office at (360) 737-1478.