The Risks and Hazards of E-Bikes
In November 2020 we shared an article on this very blog about the dangers of E-Bikes. That article was titled “Simon Says…Read The Manual” and yes, it was about a man named Simon and the fact he didn’t read the manual. That man was Simon Cowell. The same Simon from the television show “America’s Got Talent”.
Simon’s advice… “If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time. I have broken part of my back.Thank you to everyone for your kind messages.”
But not just read the manual before you ride, but read the manual on the proper care, maintenance and even storage of such E-bikes. Especially charging them.
E-Bikes are electric and need charging. And it’s that charging that is causing a concern.
You see those E-Bikes use lithium-ion batteries and those batteries when charged for excessive periods can overheat and catch fire. And just in the first half of 2023 there have been 92 fires related to E-Bike battery charging issues which injured 64 people and caused 9 deaths. And in the two years prior (2021 and 2022) there was a combined 221 injuries and 10 deaths.
Let’s explore some of the other risks and hazards that E-bike riders may encounter…
Speed and Control: E-bikes are equipped with electric motors that provide riders with an added boost of speed. While this can be advantageous in certain situations, it also poses risks. The increased velocity may surpass the rider’s ability to maintain control, leading to accidents, collisions, and serious injuries. Inexperienced riders or those unfamiliar with the specific handling characteristics of E-bikes are particularly vulnerable.
Traffic Accidents: E-bikes share the road with other vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, and bicycles. Due to their speed capabilities, electronic bikes can sometimes travel faster than traditional bicycles. This speed differential can create hazards, especially when riders are not fully aware of traffic rules or fail to anticipate the actions of other road users. The potential for collisions, especially in high-traffic areas, raises concerns for both E-bike riders and those sharing the road.
Limited Safety Regulations: Unlike motorcycles and scooters, E-bikes often fall into a regulatory gray area, which can lead to inconsistent safety standards. Regulations regarding speed limits, age restrictions, and helmet requirements can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The absence of comprehensive and uniform regulations may contribute to a lack of awareness and understanding of safety precautions among E-bike users.
Mechanical Failures and Maintenance: The electric components and battery systems of E-bikes are essential for their functioning. However, these components can be prone to defects or malfunctions, potentially resulting in accidents. Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure the proper functioning of brakes, tires, lights, and other safety features. Failure to address maintenance needs can compromise rider safety and increase the risk of accidents.
Pedestrian Safety: E-bikes, especially those with higher speeds, pose a greater risk to pedestrians. Pedestrians may be caught off guard by the speed of an approaching E-bike and have less time to react or move out of harm’s way. It is essential for E-bike riders to exercise caution, reduce speed in crowded areas, and yield to pedestrians to prevent accidents and injuries.
Legal Implications: In the event of an e-bike accident causing injuries, legal considerations come into play. Determining liability can be complex, as it may involve factors such as rider negligence, motorist negligence, or product defects. Seeking legal advice from a personal injury attorney with experience in E-bike accidents is crucial to protect the rights of the injured party and pursue compensation for damages.
And let’s not forget about Storage & Charging: Storing an E-Bike inside your home is not a good idea, especially if the E-bike overheats during charging. Ideally, not charging in your home is the best option. But, if that is the only option for you, we recommend monitoring the E-bike as it charges and immediately disconnect it from its charging port if overheating occurs.
As personal injury attorneys, we remain committed to advocating for the rights of those injured in E-bike accidents and raising awareness of the importance of safety in all modes of transportation.
The Law Offices of David W. Holub is a personal injury law firm located in Merrillville, Indiana, focused on providing efficient and effective client-centered representation. Our mission is to provide top quality legal representation, which includes an uncompromising pursuit of our client’s legal interests, while being accessible and attentive to our clients during times of personal challenge.
The firm concentrates in personal injury cases of all types, medical malpractice, and wrongful death litigation. We work tirelessly to serve each client aggressively and with empathy, to communicate regularly and clearly, and to obtain prompt and favorable results, while adhering to the highest standards of excellence and integrity. Our team considers it a high honor to be called upon to serve our clients whom we often come to regard as our friends.
If you’ve been injured and are looking for answers we invite you to make use of the information on our website, and to call our law office at (219) 736-9700 to schedule a time to talk directly to us and see firsthand if we are the right law firm for you.
If you would like to learn more about personal injury law, we encourage you to listen to our Personal Injury Primer Podcast where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law. And read “Fighting For Truth: A Trial Lawyer’s Insight Into What It Takes To Win” an entertaining and enlightening book pulling readers into the courtroom giving them a glimpse of the legal process and what it takes to win at trial.