No matter where you live when riding an electric bike, you’ll face several compromising situations on the road.
Whether you’re riding in the city or in rural environments. It’s always important to make sure safety is number one.
The advancement in e-bike technology allows a cyclist to ride for longer periods at quicker speeds.
This gives off the illusion that you can compete for the main road as a car can, but you’re wrong. Electric bikes still ride in the same lane as conventional bicycles.
There are obvious advantages to an e-bike, but those advantages can come with dangers. In this post, we list the top 15 e-bike safety tips that keep you riding confidently.
Table of Contents
- 1. Plan Your Route
- 2. Slow, Steady, And Controlled On Wet Roads
- 3. Helmets Are Important
- 4. Stay Alert At All times
- 5. Use Reflective Gear At Night & Bells During The Day
- 6. Go With The Flow Of Traffic
- 7. Look Both Ways Before Crossing Major Intersections & Maintain Eye Contact
- 8. Wheels Need To Be Safely Inflated
- 9. Respect The Traffic Rules
- 10. Have Your Bike Locks Ready & Set To Go
- 11. Watch Out For Parked Car Doors
- 12. Rearview Mirror Isn’t Only For Cars
- 13. Watch Out For Rude Bike Riders & Drivers
- 14. Good Riding Etiquette Goes A Long Way
- 15. Watch Out For Debris
- Related Post
1. Plan Your Route
Having an electric bike at your disposal to freely ride around is awesome. You’ll be able to enjoy your ride while exploring new areas.
With that being said, if you’re trying to ride efficiently, it’s key to avoid busy crossings or heavily trafficked roads.
These areas present dangers for cyclists. When you add the speed of an e-bike that danger increases.
Planning your route allows riders to stray away from those annoying areas. It also can be built into your routine so you can have the best route to shorten your commute.
Also, by planning riders can stay in the know. Avoiding restricted areas or road closures.
Planning ahead will allow riders to prioritize certain routes or paths. These areas are smoother, quicker and fun to ride through.
If you live in a city or town that offers bike paths, you can zoom past annoying traffic.
As these sorts of paths are designed to cross over major roads. Apps like Waze google maps or Komoot are excellent.
They work great for electric bike riders looking smoother planned out cycling routes.
2. Slow, Steady, And Controlled On Wet Roads
We’re not telling you to ride at a snail pace but if you’re a new e-rider the speed and control can take overtake any cyclist. So, mix this with slick wet road conditions and your ride can get pretty tense.
One e-bike, riders are constantly accelerating and braking. Do this at the same time, on a wet road this results in a crash.
The video below gives you a good idea of the issues electric bike cyclists face; if you ride fast on wet roads and immediately stop.
Riders should ride slow, steady and controlled on wet roads. Keeping your head on a Swivel. Don’t assume drivers are aware of your presence.
They pull out, serve in, or turn quickly around curbs catching riders off guard.
It’s tempting to speed through wet conditions but on an electric bike moving at high speeds, it is not a good idea.
3. Helmets Are Important
Growing up the first thing parents brought along with a child’s first bike is a helmet.
Yeah, it probably felt uncool, but a helmet protects a child’s young noggin. Those same protections still apply as an adult. Yet, adults still take chances of not wearing helmets.
Depending on the class e-bike, an e-bike can reach speeds between 20 – 28 mph. At those speeds, any sort of unsuspected object or pedestrian can cause riders to fall.
Potentially leading to an injury. Having a helmet only helps in those cases. Wearing a helmet isn’t always mandatory or everywhere in some areas. Yet, people still take that risk. We hope you don’t.
4. Stay Alert At All times
It’s hard to stay focus as you ride an electric bike. The ease of peddle assist will have your head above the clouds.
Staying alert is very important especially when moving through a city. Now that doesn’t mean you have to keep assessing the road every two seconds.
Keeping your eyes open and scanning around for potential dangers is good enough. E-bikes are fast, unexpected surprises like raised curbs, post or people can blend in with the environment your riding in.
If you not paying attention those surprises can catch you off guard, appearing to pop up out of nowhere.
As an electric bike rider, there are a lot of dangers to keep in mind, but you can also be a danger to others.
It’s also your responsibility to give pedestrians walking the right of way and only ride as fast as you can stop.
5. Use Reflective Gear At Night & Bells During The Day
Not everyone expects to see cyclists out and about on the road. As an electric bike rider, you must make your presence is known. Lights and reflective gear draw attention from others on the road.
The flickering of lights and the movement the human body works effectively in alerting everyone.
Cities are full sharp turns or drivers with blind spots. This can put riders in comprising positions if they go unseen.
In cases where your moving to fast during the day or night, and you can’t be seen. A bell or a horn is another great way too worn on goers that you are near.
6. Go With The Flow Of Traffic
It’s odd to see bikers riding against traffic. In doing so riders are putting themselves in danger. Inexperienced cyclists think riding against ongoing traffic is safer.
Being visible to ongoing traffic is important. Normally drivers are looking for a cyclist riding in a lawful direction.
Riding the wrong way may lead you to go unseen. The Speed in which e-bikes go also plays a factor in reaction time.
If your traveling at high speeds against traffic, the closing time for a reaction between a driver and you is shortened.
Also, traffic lights and signs are all pointed towards the flow of traffic. If riding in the opposite direction than your clearly not following traffic rules.
It’s even worse to ride against traffic at night, due to the blinding effects of car lights.
7. Look Both Ways Before Crossing Major Intersections & Maintain Eye Contact
Car drivers dislike bikes riders out of fear they’ll injure them due to close proximity. A cyclist must be aware of this fear and take precautions. This is especially true when your crossing major intersections or passing parked cars.
It’s easier on a bike to stray just that small distance to make a driver over correct itself. Be on the defense and assume every rider is out to get you.
Maintain eye contact with drivers as you ride through crossways or intersections. It’s a good way to forecast their moves or to see if they are paying attention to their surroundings.
Drivers underestimate the speed conventional bikes can travel. When compared with an e-bike, acceleration is drastically different.
Increase visibility and learn maneuvers to guide yourself through the road.
There is an excellent book called Bicycling Street Smarts. It was originally meant for traditional bikes riders.
It has a lot of good tips to help e-bike riders to ride safely on the road.
8. Wheels Need To Be Safely Inflated
No chances should be taken with tire maintenance. Printed on the side of bicycle tires is the maximum pressure.
It’s recommended that you keep your tire pressure around that. There are a few good reasons why riders would want to keep your tires consistently inflated.
It maximizes an e-bikes range, helps with acceleration and gives a better grip on the road.
That’s important because all those enhancing features can shave off seconds in an individual’s reaction time.
It’s always important to check other aspects like tire tread or any punctures. Being proactive can save you in the long run. The power an e-bike presents can dramatically affect the overall performance of a bad tire.
9. Respect The Traffic Rules
So many bike accidents or collisions could be prevented if cyclists followed the traffic rules.
Bicycle laws are enforced on a state or local level, but police officers will not always be around. Self-policing is key to keeping everyone on the road safe.
Stopping at red lights, giving pedestrians the right of way, or singling to drivers helps your fellow roadies. It’s common sense if you approach an intersection with a red light.
You wouldn’t ignore it, in doing so you can face a fetal accident from ongoing traffic.
10. Have Your Bike Locks Ready & Set To Go
There is a special place in hell for bike thieves and you know what, I’m okay with it.
The truth is electric bike theft is on the rise and no matter the bike part nothing is safe. E-bikes are at a higher risk because they’re parts are so well sought after.
This tip is for your e-bikes safety, please don’t forget to live home without your bike locks.
We recommend buying a Bike Bag or attaching locks in strategic areas so you don’t forget. We have a post on how to protect your electric bike Here.
11. Watch Out For Parked Car Doors
When passing parked cars be aware of the unexpected passenger car door. In some cases, drivers or passengers don’t look at the rearview mirror when opening car doors.
Maintain a cautionary distance and give yourself at least a door width of space when passing parked cars on the roadside.
You can also look at a car’s rearview mirror to see if you spot a face or any sort of indicator of a car door opening.
12. Rearview Mirror Isn’t Only For Cars
It may seem like overkill, but a rearview mirror covers up your blindside when you’re on the road. It’s unlikely that cyclists will be hit from the rear.
In the off chance, this does happen a rearview mirror will be the eyes in the back of your head.
There is no need to look back missing what is in front. Rearview mirrors keep you aware of traffic at all times.
13. Watch Out For Rude Bike Riders & Drivers
Unfortunately, there are idiots everywhere. Lots of drivers ride around with reckless abandonment. They can care less about you or anyone else on the road.
Drivers who use mobile phones or who drive under the influence will bring with them all sorts of dangers.
It’s no different for bike riders, rude riders think there above the law. Skipping past red lights, jumping in front of pedestrians, and irritating other bikers on the road.
They create a dangerous environment for everyone involved. Not only do they endanger their own lives, but those of pedestrians out of total lack of respect and maturity to share the road.
What’s worse is they give other cyclists a bad name, manifesting a stereotype of what a cyclist looks like.
Without going into a rant, watch out for those sorts of bike riders as they attract risk.
14. Good Riding Etiquette Goes A Long Way
Being a nice all-around individual on an e-bike makes for a safe and enjoyable ride. Looking up the necessary research to make sure you’re obeying the laws and regulations saves you from a lot of trouble.
Staying off paved ways, not upsetting pedestrians or other road users is good cycling etiquette. A few ways to help improve your overall etiquette is to use hand signals.
It allows other motorists to know what actions are going to be taken and where you’re going. They also warn other riders of potential road hazards, this especially important when you’re riding in groups.
It seems obvious but lots riders ignore red lights, as e-bike rider you can’t afford to do this. If you are passing by pedestrians slow down and light peddle through.
Also, you can be polite to other cyclists riding nearby. To people, you are passing it’s always good to acknowledge them. A simple wave or light head nod gives that human touch to every ride.
If you see another rider stopped because of a mechanical issue, don’t forget to stop and help.
15. Watch Out For Debris
When riding close to sidewalks or alternative routes. Your chances of encountering broken glass or other debris increase.
Scan the ground in front of you and try to adjust accordingly, but don’t overcorrect your path to much. This can startle motorists behind you.
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