Like the millions of Americans who ride electric bikes every day, you may consider e-bikes a convenient and sensible middle ground between riding a bicycle and driving a car. You get the speed without the effort and the commute with a positive environmental impact.
So it might surprise you that electric bike riders get in more accidents with more injuries than motorcycle riders, regular bicycle riders, passenger cars, and pedestrians.
One study found that out of 1 million electric bike rides, 115 trips ended up in an accident with an injury. This is in comparison to motorcycle rides (104 injuries per million rides), bicycle rides (15 injuries per million), and passenger car rides (8 injuries per million).
Most people recognize how dangerous motorcycles are, but few are actually aware of the dangers of electric bikes, which expose you to the same risks on the road that motorcyclists and bicyclists must deal with – except at higher speeds compared to a regular bike. A typical electric bike can reach speeds over 20 miles per hour, with little to protect the rider.
An e-bike accident could cause catastrophic injuries or traumatic brain injuries that need extensive medical care to treat. You could even lose the ability to work for a while. Essentially, your life could change in an instant – and it could all be because of someone else’s fault.
If your e-bike accident was caused by another person’s negligence, you can hold them accountable under the law for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help determine if you have a case.
Call Harlan Law now at (619) 870-0802 or contact us to discuss your legal options.
Are Motorized Bikes Safer than Regular Bicycles?
No, electric and motorized bikes are not safer than regular bikes. Quite the opposite, in fact.
In the study linked above, e-bikes were involved in over 7 times more injuries compared to regular bikes. Still, the fatality rate of e-bike accidents remains lower: 19 deaths per 100 million e-bike rides versus 21 for regular bike rides and 537 for motorcycle rides.
To make matters worse, e-bikes aren’t getting any safer as they grow more popular. The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission found that e-scooter, e-bike, and hoverboard crashes increased by 70% between 2017 and 2020, with over 70 fatalities during that period.
Are There More Accidents With Electric Bikes?
Unfortunately, yes. Electric bikes are more likely to get into accidents with injuries than any other type of vehicle on the road, including motorcycles and regular bicycles. E-bikes may actually be one of the most dangerous modes of transportation in Southern California.
One study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) found e-bikes to be dangerous in the following ways:
- E-bikes are three times more likely to collide with pedestrians than regular bikes.
- E-bike riders suffer internal injuries and concussions and are hospitalized more often compared to regular bike riders.
- Powered scooter accidents were almost three times more likely to cause concussions.
- Injuries involving e-bikes were generally more serious than with other vehicles.
Considering how many people use e-bikes these days, that’s a lot of potential injuries. The victims can be either the e-bike user or a bystander who gets hit by an e-bike.
When many electronic and motorized bikes can exceed 20 MPH, the force of a crash at that speed could cause serious injuries or death – even with a helmet on.
What Are the Dangers of Electric Bikes?
Electric and motorized bikes come with a number of risks:
- Compared to cars, motorcycles, and trucks, electric bicycles are still “small” objects that are harder to spot, with no doors or barriers to protect you if you collide with a larger vehicle. Riding alongside or with traffic exposes you to the risk of a car crash.
- Despite having significantly more power than regular bicycles, most e-bikes are still categorized the same as bicycles under California’s motor vehicle laws. That means e-bike users don’t need a license, registration, insurance, or identifying plates.
- Even if an electric bike is about the same size as a regular bike, its motor makes it much heavier, which means greater momentum and stopping distance than a regular bike. In a collision, a heavy bike is likely to do much more injury to a pedestrian or the bicyclist.
- Electric bikes operate much faster than regular bikes, so pedestrians and other bicyclists may struggle to get out of the way, especially if you’re riding illegally on a sidewalk. Higher speeds also make the impact of a collision much worse.
- Users who aren’t familiar with e-bikes can lose control when first operating the bike.
- Rented e-bikes and motorized scooters could fall into disrepair and malfunction.
- Users who are minors, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or use e-bikes improperly (for example, with multiple people on one bike) can cause serious crashes.
E-bike manufacturers, e-bike rental companies, and individual riders must proceed with care and take responsibility for their actions when operating these types of vehicles. Other cars in traffic must take care to watch for electric bicycle riders and share the road.
If someone is careless, reckless, or negligent, you could sue them for your injuries.
How a Lawyer Can Help After an E-bike Accident
If you were riding an e-bike or involved in a collision with an e-bike, chances are you may be suffering from serious injuries, even if they might not be obvious right away.
Some injuries are latent – they might not become obvious right away or ever unless you run the necessary tests. Concussions and traumatic brain injuries can do untold amounts of silent, irreversible damage without you realizing it. Even “small” injuries like sprains or tears could lead to significant chronic issues if you don’t heal correctly.
That’s why, even if you feel “fine,” you should get checked out by a doctor after an e-bike injury. Any major impact or collision can lead to spinal injuries, neck injuries, head injuries, and other types of orthopedic injuries. If you can prove that the person who caused your injury was acting negligently or recklessly, the damages you get could make all the difference in your recovery.
At Harlan Law, our compassionate, determined team is here to help. Call us now at (619) 870-0802 or contact us to discuss your rights for a personal injury lawsuit.
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“Jordon Harlan at Harlan Law, PC, earns a 5-star evaluation from me. I was in an accident and suffered injuries. It was difficult to deal with the insurance company to even obtain coverage for basic medical expenses. Jordon listened to my concerns and wishes and took care of everything. He obtained a settlement that I was pleased with and without the necessity of going to court. I hope not to be in similar circumstances in the future but if that were the case, Harlan Law is who I would contact immediately. Jordon Harlan has my full confidence.”