Defensive Riding | Ebike Safety Tips
Electric bikes are a lot of fun to ride and are a great way to get around, allowing you to save money and the environment. But as fun and exciting as ebikes are, safety while riding should always be a priority. While most safety practices that apply to electric bikes are similar to standard cycling, it’s important to note that e-bikes require more attention when riding considering that they ride much faster and are heavier than your regular bike.
By following these ebike safety tips, you’ll be better prepared for potentially dangerous road situations that you could encounter any time you’re riding your e-bike.
Always Wear a Helmet
While this is pretty much obvious, many riders still ignore this simple tip for riding a bike safely. Riding your e-bike without a helmet is ridiculously dangerous. Over the years, bike accident statistics have shown that bike accidents without helmets are more likely to cause death and brain trauma than the ones where the cyclist’s head is protected. You can opt for a regular bike helmet or full-face helmet with a face shield that flips up for all-around head and face protection.
Use Your E-Bike Lights
The majority of deadly bike accidents happen at night. How do you ensure that you’re protected when riding your e-bike at night? Make sure you have lights mounted on your e-bike – the more the better. Most bikes come with some dinky reflectors that are good for increased visibility when riding at night, but are not enough. Get at least one blinking front white LED light and one rear red LED light for your e-bike. A pair of each and an additional helmet light is even better.
Adding spoke lights is also a good idea. Anything that makes you and your e-bike more visible when riding at night will greatly reduce the chances of being hit by a car, truck or even a fellow cyclist. As part of your ebike safety tips, it’s important to put the right lights on your e-bike to ensure reliable lighting. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where your bike lights are not working when you need them to.
Wear Reflective Clothing
If you frequently ride your e-bike during the day and night, it’s advisable to invest in reflective clothing. You can get a lightweight reflective ride vest that’s designed to allow full-range riding motion and ensure wear comfort. Such vests come with highly reflective properties and offer the ultimate in safety and convenience for e-bike riders at night. Whether you’re riding from work at night daily, spend a lot of time on the road or want better visibility under bad weather conditions, reflective clothing or reflective tape that can be attached on clothes is a great safety investment.
Use Proper Warning Devices
For maximum safety when riding your e-bike, consider installing both a cyclist’s horn and bell on your bike. Horns are for warning cars and bells are for warning pedestrians. Use both warning devices correctly, and not the other way around. An air horn is particularly important if you ride a lot in high-traffic areas. It comes in handy when you want to alert drivers to your position when they try to pull out ahead of you or merge on top of you.
Follow Riding Traffic Rules
Always ride on the proper side of the road, and with traffic, not against it. This is one of the most ignored ebike safety tips among riders, and is often a major cause of collisions and close-calls. While it may seem wise to ride against traffic, so you can see the cars coming towards you, you’re more likely to be involved in an accident if you stick to that. In fact, rear-ended accidents by a passing car only make up about 2% of bike traffic accidents.
Statistically, there’s a higher chance of you being hit by a car pulling out on the road that didn’t see you simply because you didn’t check for traffic coming the wrong way. Stick to following the designated traffic and riding rules in your area, including riding with traffic instead of against it.
Ensure Your Tires are Properly Inflated
Well inflated tires will give you more range on your e-bike and provide more control in case you need to react fast to avoid a collision. While at it, make sure your tire treads are in good condition, and replace your tires if they’re old. E-bikes and worn-tires are a bad combination when you consider the extra power and weight you’re packing. You don’t want to lose grip on the road when you need it most.
Learn Some Defensive Riding Skills
How should you handle yourself in a near-collision? What if your e-bike brakes don’t work when on the road at a high speed? Many riders don’t take ebike safety tips like these seriously. It’s always better to be prepared for potential situations than learn the hard way. Never give a car driver the benefit of doubt or assume that they’ll always make the right call. You need to be in control and know when to start breaking, turn or move out of the way.
Riding defensively is one of the most critical tips for riding a bike safely. Never assume that a driver can see you, as nearly two-thirds of all bike accidents are caused by drivers violating a rider’s right of way. With an e-bike riding much faster than a standard bike, any miscalculation on the road can be fatal. Stay out of a driver’s blind spot and make sure that you signal in advance of any change of direction while watching for turning cars.
Use Your Mirrors
If your bike doesn’t have a mirror, you need to get one. A handle bar end mirror is highly recommended. With a mirror, you can always check in your mirror before entering or moving further into the driving lane. With cars getting ever more silent, it’s easy to get hit by a car from the rear if you’re not careful. Accidentally moving out in front of a car is much more common than you think. This is something you don’t want to happen when riding your e-bike.
Ensuring situational awareness at all times is another important ebike safety tip to keep in mind. Make eye contact with drivers, especially when approaching intersections. This is where most bike accidents happen. Be aware of your surroundings at any given time and do everything you can to ensure that drivers know you’re there.
Riding an electric bike should be a fun experience. Staying safe should be your best bet if you want it to stay that way. If you want to buy safety accessories like mirrors, reflective jackets or LED tail lights for your e-bike, visit Leeds Electric Bike to buy quality e-bike accessories.