A common question amongst those who aren’t very familiar with power-assisted vehicles is: are electric bikes safe? It’s an important question to address, and in our estimation, concerns that most people have regarding the safety of electric bikes also apply to traditional pushbikes too, especially when using them on the road. Using any kind of vehicle, power-assisted or not, comes with a certain level of risk, but riders of electric bikes aren’t necessarily at any more risk than those riding traditional bikes or scooters. Here’s our guide to electric bike safety.
General safety tips
Certain safety tips are universal for any kind of bike – whether electronically assisted or not. For instance, it’s always, always, strongly advised to wear a helmet when cycling. Regardless of distance, terrain, and rider skill level, wearing a helmet is a must. It’s not a legal requirement, but that doesn’t stop it from being a very good idea.
Similarly, wearing bright, colourful clothing is also recommended. Being seen by other road users and pedestrians is a huge contributor to your safety when riding a bike. It’s difficult to avoid a cyclist if they’re difficult to see, so invest in reflective, high-visibility clothing if you cycle often.
As well as protecting yourself and making yourself seen by others, bike maintenance is important for your safety. It may seem obvious, but a broken bike is a dangerous bike. Regular maintenance checks, even at the most basic level, can make a significant difference to your safety when cycling. Everything from checking the brakes are responsive and the brake pads aren’t worn down to ensuring the tire tread provides enough grip. Even simply looking to see that your handlebars are properly aligned will go a long way to keeping you in control of your bike and safe, especially when cycling on busy roads.
Safety tips for electric bikes
The fact that electric bikes are powered brings with it a few additional safety concerns. For example, ebikes accelerate faster than traditional bikes and have a higher top speed than most people would usually reach while cycling without assistance. Therefore, especially when cycling through cities, you need to be more aware of your speed. Drivers of cars may be surprised to see a person on a bike accelerate so quickly once the traffic lights turn green, so you may need to compensate for how other people view you as a road user. Furthermore, by virtue of being able to travel faster, you may be at a slightly higher risk of colliding with something if you aren’t paying full attention.
The battery itself is an additional feature of your bike which needs regular maintenance in order to keep working correctly and not become a safety concern when you’re out on the road. Consult your owner’s manual or speak to an electric bike specialist for tips on how to properly maintain your e-bike’s battery.
Electric bikes are also heavier than most traditional pushbikes. Therefore, riders must pay more attention when mounting and dismounting to avoid having the bike fall on them. This may seem like a minor point, but younger and older riders should take note in order to stay safe.
While it may seem like there are more risks involved when using an electric bike, a study has shown that ebikes are no more dangerous than traditional bikes. The initial thought that being able to travel faster made electric bikes dangerous may, in fact, be completely wrong. The electric assistance may make riders safer. The reason being that electric bikes are better at helping their riders keep up with traffic and move more confidently around roads. Electric bikes can ride alongside traffic, rather than being something that cars and other vehicles have to constantly overtake.
Further, the added power assistance can help riders to avoid collisions more easily. Ebike riders can quickly and confidently accelerate and steer out of harm’s way, perhaps better than they could on a pushbike. Steering is also easier when pedalling is less of a focus while cycling.
If you have any concerns regarding the safety of electric bikes, then get in touch with our team. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have. If you’ve been convinced by the article and are thinking of buying your very own electric bike, then check out our range of products. Our best-selling ebike, the Furo X is an excellent all-rounder and one of the fastest electric bikes you can buy. Perhaps you need something a little lighter that’s more convenient for carrying on public transport? Our eTura is the world’s lightest electric bike at just 12kg. Fancy an electric bike that’s more suited to the great outdoors? Then you’ll love the Sierra, our high-performance electric mountain bike. Here at FuroSystems, we have something for everybody.