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Posted on: September 1, 2022

E-Bike Safety Checklist: Everything Needed to Stay Safe

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As battery-powered bikes grow in popularity, safety concerns are growing too.

Unlike a traditional bike, an e-bike does not require any major exertion from its rider. E-bikes come with all the features of a regular bike with the addition of an electric motor. There are three classes of e-bikes outlined in the California Vehicle Code:

  • Class 1: The motor helps the rider only when the rider pedals, and it stops helping at 20 mph.
  • Class 2: The motor can propel the bicycle without the rider pedaling, up to 20 mph.
  • Class 3: The motor helps the rider only when the rider is pedaling and stops helping when the bike reaches 28 mph.

With great speed comes great responsibility. It is critical to follow proper safety tips when riding an e-bike to ensure the safety of the rider, pedestrians, and drivers in the roadway.

Here are safety tips for electric bicycles:

  1. Always wear a helmet. No exceptions.
  2. Make sure your bike has front and rear lights, as well as reflective stickers.
  3. Wear bright, reflective clothing.
  4. Install a horn so that motorists can hear you coming. Bicyclists and even motorcycles can be quiet and easily lost in a motorist’s blind spot.
  5. Find safe routes - preferably less traveled roads and pathways that allow electric bikes.
  6. Ride defensively. Do not assume anyone can see or hear you. Anticipate what drivers and pedestrians might do, and act accordingly.
  7. Beware of parked cars. Someone could open their car door as you pass or pull out of their parking spot without looking.
  8. Look out for other bicyclists, who may not have lights at night or may dart out in front of you.
  9. Let pedestrians know you’re coming with an announcement of “On your left!” or a beep of the horn. Always slow down when approaching pedestrians.
  10. Ride with traffic and always obey traffic rules (i.e., stop at stop signs and red lights, ride on the right side of the road, not the sidewalk, etc.) Be aware of cracks and potholes.
  11. Loose gravel and wetness can be risky too. Slow down, be cautious, and avoid those conditions if possible.

Cars can make mistakes too! Drivers often don’t always use their turn signals, speed, and make sudden lane changes. Always be alert and aware of your surroundings.

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