E-bikes have become quite popular around New York City and elsewhere in the United States. Especially when the weather is warm in the summer, locals and tourists alike may use their own e-bike or rent one from a service to get around town quickly and cost-effectively. E-bikes do not require a license but can help someone reach their destination much faster than walking. It is also far more fun to ride an e-bike than it is to take public transit.
However, the benefits of e-bike travel do come with some drawbacks as well. Crashes are a constant concern for those on e-bikes just as they are for those on human-propelled bicycles. How can e-bike riders prioritize their safety this summer in New York City?
Follow all bicycle traffic laws
Generally, those on e-bikes need to follow the same traffic rules as those on other bicycles. Whenever possible, they should use a dedicated bicycle lane, and they should always move with the flow of traffic within those lanes. E-bikes do not belong on sidewalks and instead should share the road with vehicles in areas where there are no bike lanes. Careful adherence to safety laws can help someone avoid a crash with a vehicle or a pedestrian.
Know the right route before heading out
People who don’t know the route to take may try to use GPS on their phones or may watch their surroundings not for safety purposes but to try to gain their bearings. Any kind of distraction when on an e-bike could lead to a potentially deadly mistake. Those intending to ride an e-bike in traffic should know what roads they intend to take ahead of time whenever possible so that they don’t end up causing a crash because they focus too much on navigation.
Wear a helmet even when the law doesn’t require it
There are several scenarios in which those writing e-bikes must have a helmet. Teenagers working to deliver on e-bikes typically have to wear helmets under New York law. Additionally, people of all ages may need to wear a helmet when operating a Class 3 e-bike in New York City. Even those who do not meet either of those criteria would greatly improve their chances of surviving or avoiding life-altering injuries should have crash occur if they have a helmet on when they get hit by someone in traffic.
Making safety a top priority can help ensure that a summer ride on an e-bike is pleasant, not a tragic experience.