LAS VEGAS, Nevada. Electric bikes have become incredibly popular in countries like Australia and England. However, in American cities, the bikes have also become popular, especially with food delivery personnel in New York City. According to the New Yorker, some avid bike riders see electric bike riders as cheating. Other riders see electric bikes as a safety concern. When bikers are judging the movement of other bikers on bike lanes, they take into account hills and how they slow a rider down. If a bike rider doesn’t see that a person is on an electric bike, accidents can happen. E-bikes are also eerily silent. Unlike a regular bike where the motion of a rider’s feet creates sound, e-bikes don’t create the expected noise one would expect to perceive when passing a bicyclist. Hearing is an important sense when it comes to road safety. An e-bike’s silence can be deadly.
Another issue that city planners will have to consider is how to categorize e-bikes. Should they be permitted on bike lanes? Should they be allowed to use bike paths?
According to Electric Bike Magazine, electric bikes occupy a hazy gray area between a motorcycle and a regular bike. If an electric bike rider is in a crash, is it a bike accident or a motorcycle accident? Should e-bike riders be required to have a driver’s license or motorcycle license? If e-bikes increase in popularity, cities may need to ask these crucial questions. Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd are personal injury lawyers in Chicago who are watching how the law handles accidents involving e-bikes.
Individuals who aren’t properly trained in using e-bikes can also put themselves and others at risk. The lithium batteries used in e-bikes have been known to explode. Improperly maintained bikes can suddenly stall while going full-speed, possibly throwing the rider from the bike, resulting in serious head or neck injuries. E-bikes are also silent. Pedestrians and drivers use their ears to hear a cyclist approaching. An e-bike rider could silently pass a pedestrian too closely, resulting in a collision. In fact, in China, people are killed because they have walked in front of an e-bike without looking.
E-bikes can also move at higher speeds than conventional bikes. Higher speeds mean greater injuries. An e-bike rider can cause greater injuries to themselves, to a pedestrian they hit, and even to a motor vehicle.
E-bike riders using roads have a responsibility to obey traffic laws and to watch for pedestrians. Like bike riders, they are required to follow traffic laws designed for cars.
If you or a loved one was in an accident involving an e-bike, you may be entitled to seek damages for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and rehabilitation expenses. E-bike riders are subject to the same liabilities as any other motor vehicle on the road. If you or a loved one has been hurt on the road, contact the Chicago personal injury lawyers at Dinizulu Law Group today to protect your rights.