Many individuals will purchase an e-bike for the health benefits, the ability to exercise outdoors, and the social aspect of riding around their community. However, as e-bike technologies such as batteries and motors continue to accelerate at a rapid pace, e-bikes are now an excellent replacement for cars as well due to their power, range, and affordability.
You might be able to use an e-bike for your commute some or all the time. Even using an e-bike just a few days a week as a replacement for your vehicle will save you a lot of money. But as more and more e-bikes, e-scooters, and other modes of transportation begin to pop up in cities, the rules of the road and basic safety practices become extra important. According to data, the rate of accidents happening to riders while riding through cities is much higher than in less populated areas such as bike paths or trails in the woods. There are simply more risks in cities.
Thankfully, we’ve got you covered. We’ve discussed How an E-bike Can Save You Commuting Costs at length, but today we will discuss a related topic: safety while riding in the city. Whether you are running an errand, riding to work, or just getting some fresh air, riding in the city presents a set of unique challenges. Be prepared for anything. Read on to discover tips for riding an e-bike in the city.
Wear a Helmet
The number one fundamental principle of safe riding is to protect your head with a helmet in case of an accident. While you may be a professional cyclist confident in your abilities on the bike, you never know what could happen. Inattentive pedestrians, angry drivers, and even other cyclists present too many scenarios to predict. Therefore, you must protect your most important organ: your brain! Always wear a helmet while riding.
Not just any helmet either! You need to make sure your helmet is specifically designed for cycling. The best helmets, such as this one offered by Himiway, provide additional benefits in addition to protecting your skull and brain from injury. Helmets like these are lightweight to provide maximum comfort, they have a solid hard shell to absorb impact, and they are designed for large amounts of air intake to keep you cool while riding in the summer. The more comfortable you are while wearing a helmet, the more likely you are to wear it. After all, a helmet is worthless if it is not on your head.
Brake in Advance
It is not always about protecting yourself in the event of an accident. While riding an e-bike in cities, there are plenty of opportunities to be proactive about your safety as well. By constantly monitoring your environment, you may be able to avoid an accident altogether. Continuously scan your path for obstacles, moving objects, people, and especially cars. You want to be watching the road ahead where you will be in a few seconds.
This proactive observation allows you the time needed to apply your brakes in the event you need to stop, swerve, or otherwise maneuver yourself out of the path of danger. Do not assume that a driver sees you. If necessary, slow down as you approach crosswalks, alleys, or intersections, even if you don’t see anything at first. Slowing down by braking allows you time to scan the area for any risks.
Most cycling accidents occur at intersections or when a rider assumes someone else sees them. Remember, cars, trucks, and semis all have blind spots slightly behind them to their left and right. The slower you are moving, the lower the likelihood of a fatal accident. Keep your hands hovering over the brake lever of your e-bike whenever you might need to slow down. This will improve your reaction time in an emergency.
Have a Rearview Mirror
Another fantastic piece of equipment that helps with city riding is a rearview mirror. A rearview mirror will allow you the ability to see behind you with a quick glance. You may notice a vehicle approaching too close to the path you are riding, and you can pull off the side of the road in time. You may also be able to see a car or another cyclist in advance of a left or right turn you are planning to make.
While not specifically related to a rearview mirror, other bike equipment such as headlights, brake lights, and reflective strips or clothing will ensure you are as visible as possible to cars approaching you from behind. If you see a large line of cars behind you, you might even want to pull off the road for a moment to let them pass. Sharing the road is a great way to earn the respect of everyone else using it.
Slow Down for Yellow and Red Lights
Our final tip is about patience. We know it is fun to ride fast. And we know it is fun to accelerate with the throttle on your powerful Himiway. You may even be late to work and decide you will make up some time on your ride by speeding through a yellow or red light to avoid waiting. But we cannot stress this e-bike safety tip enough: do not speed up for yellow lights. Do not run a red light.
Even if it appears there are no cars around you, there is always a chance that a speeding vehicle runs through an intersection at the same time as you are racing through a yellow light. The risk of injury or death by running a yellow or red light is never worth the few extra seconds you will save on your ride. Don’t forget, you can still be cited for traffic violations by a police officer even when you are riding an e-bike.
There are definitely more safety tips out there for riding an e-bike in the city and you should adhere to all of them. But by following these 4 basic safety tips you will be in good shape. So remember, always wear a helmet, be prepared to brake in advance, use a rearview mirror to see behind you, and never run a yellow or red light.
For more e-bike related content about commuting, exercising, and comparing different e-bikes, check out our blog in our community section. Safe riding!