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Road Safety While Riding an E-bike
Road Safety While Riding an E-bike
E-bikes are the commutes of the future – their incredibly useful design and eco-friendly application make them a top candidate to overthrow motorized cars as a regular means of transport. Many countries around the world are already making efforts to convince people to shift to E-bike, while others have already succeeded.
Countries such as the Netherlands and other parts of the Nordic are incorporating biking infrastructure into their cities and public spaces. By doing so, it is resulting in a huge population of people switching to E-bikes.
Much of this movement against the use of motorized vehicles stems from the destruction of the Ozone layer. Environmental scientists are recording drastic demographics that show the gradual temperature rise of the earth and how it can lead to the melting of the snowcaps in the near future.
Without prolonged collective efforts of lowering down the carbon emissions, you cannot prevent the global warming crises. A huge part of the world’s total carbon emissions come from motorized vehicles on the road. Hence, shifting to an electrical propulsion force for transport is now a more superior and considerate step in the face of combustion engines.
Apart from the global warming outcome, the Coronavirus pandemic is forcing people to stay indoors. Lockdowns are encouraging people to live a sedentary lifestyle, which has adverse effects on an individual’s health. Being overweight or obese puts you at more risk of developing various health conditions and weakens your immune system.
Thus, people are looking for ways they can incorporate exercise into their pandemic routines. This search is taking most people to opt for E-bikes as a legitimate means of transport since they provide you with an eco-friendly commute and help you exercise on the way to your destination. Unlike conventional bikes, they allow you to travel to farther destinations in a shorter time with less physical exertion.
Despite all the benefits, people still tend to raise a few arguments against the switch to E-bikes. One of the most common arguments is that E-bikes are unsafe and lead to accidents. However, this is far from the truth. If you have proper guidance and training for riding them safely on the roads, then you do not have to worry about unwanted accidents.
Moreover, the goal is to have more E-bikes on the roads than motorized cars. The biggest threat to an E-bike rider on the road comes from cars. Hence, the lack of single-person cars will unquestionably make E-bikes the safest means of commute. Until this happens, you must consider all the safety tips and measures before you start commuting on busy streets and freeway roads alongside cars.
Riding E-bikes in Traffic
Over the years, as the population increases, traffic has increased astoundingly. This creates drastic challenges for drivers, from finding places to park to congestion and commuting. Similarly, it also creates hurdles for cyclists that side alongside the traffic.
These challenges are evident, particularly in countries that have limited infrastructure for biking, such as lanes and mounting equipment. Even a country such as the US lags behind nations in Europe and some parts of Asia in terms of cycling infrastructure. In these countries, E-bikers and Cyclers have a long trail of biking lanes with ample amount of space to ride. Moreover, these lanes are completely free from intervening cars and other motorized vehicles. This makes for a convenient and safe E-bike commute.
With the growing population of E-bike users in the USA, the challenges of daily commuters are amplifying each day. Due to the innovation of E-bikes, many cyclers can now travel faster in urban and suburban areas. This demands a new array of considerations and awareness of the E-bikers towards riding alongside public transport.
Do not let the thrill and exhilaration of the E-bikes lead you into a horrible accident.
How to Ride Your E-bike safely?
Riding an E-bike opens you up to a world of adventure and exploration. Since E-bikes allow you to ride any farther, you have to keep in mind that with more power, you also have more responsibility. They accelerate incredibly faster than conventional bikes; some even pair up to cars at an average speed. Thus, the instant speed may tempt you to ramp up your gears and rocket away.
However, you must practice the slower settings before you can get comfortable riding at the top speed. Do not let the thrill and exhilaration of the E-bikes lead you into a horrible accident. Initially, it is ideal that you work your way up to become comfortable with the E-bike.
Secondly, you must practice your braking, learn to judge the obstacle and car ahead of you, and slow down sooner. Before you decide to hit the brakes, consider the velocity at which you are traveling and the distance of the obstacle in front of you. Then instinctively make the judgment of the inertia and slow down gradually and slowly.
Ultimately, you should try to avoid jamming the breaks at the last moment if you wish to prevent injuries and damage. This is because E-bikes have stronger brakes than conventional bikes. Most E-bikes consist of disk brakes; they offer you a more powerful stopping system. Additionally, learn to use both the front and rear brakes and use them both when stopping.
Another important consideration is the surroundings. When riding an E-bike, you have to pay even more attention to trailing cars or bikes. This is mainly because drivers do not expect you to be cycling 20 miles an hour. This is because E-bikes look exactly like conventional cycles. Hence, you need to pay extra attention to the surrounding factors when riding an E-bike.
This means that you have to increase your reaction speed when you are riding the E-bike. This rule becomes crucial when you are riding alongside a shared path with other cars and vehicles. You must be mindful of the speed you travel at, especially when you are riding along with cars and other people.
When you encounter other riders, cars, or pedestrians on the road, slow down your speed and give a verbal or nonverbal sign to let them know of your presence. This prevents you from bumping into peaceful residents and ruining their day. Bells are important for this very reason, as they help indicate to the joggers and walkers that you are coming. Hence, make sure that you install a bell or horn on your E-bike.
Furthermore, do not forget that the traditional safety rules of cycles apply to the E-bikes as well. You must understand, acknowledge and adhere to the traffic laws in your area. Never forget to wear a helmet, and make sure that you install daytime riding lights on your E-bike. You should also dress in vibrant and bright colors. By wearing vibrant clothing, drivers can more easily spot you riding alongside them. Some E-bikers also wear fluorescent clothing.
Riding solo on an E-bike – Safety Tips
Riding an E-bike on the open road solo is something you need to give respect in terms of safety. Remember, riding safely is not a compromise on your enjoyment; in fact, in some cases, it can enhance your enjoyment.
When riding alone, keep to the left-hand side, as this way, traffic can overtake you more easily. However, give yourself some space, around a foot and a half, or even half a meter from the curb. This helps you ensure that you are not riding anywhere near the gutter. The road surface on top gutter ways is usually in a very bad condition, full of bumps and cracks. This can turn out to be very hazardous for the E-bikers.
Riding at a Junction
More than 70 percent of E-bike accidents and cycling collisions happen at or close to a junction on the road. Therefore, you must know how to ride your E-bike at a junction and how to maneuver around them with ease.
Road Positioning Basics
When cycling past cars that static, make sure that you stay at a car door’s width away from them. Always check over your right shoulder to ensure that it is safe to turn or move ahead.
Passing Side Roads
When you pass a side road that is on your left, make sure to move to a more central position to over unexpected cars surprising you at the very end. Moreover, when you decide to move to the center of the road, make sure that there is no car coming over from behind and check over your right shoulder to ensure that.
Once you pass the junction in a central position, look over your shoulders one more time before getting back to the original position on the road, which is an arm’s length from the curb to avoid the gutter.
Turning Right from a Major to Minor Road
When you are riding on a major traffic road with cars coming over from behind you, and you want to turn right to a minor road, you must abide by some simple traffic rules. First, make sure that you slow down your speed ahead of the intersecting turn.
As soon as you start getting closer to the turn, look over your right should for the on-coming cars. If there is a good distance between you and a car, only then move to a more central position on the road, whilst making eye contact with the driver behind you. Once the driver behind acknowledges you, then indicate the driver with the right turn signal using your hand.
When you see them slow down behind you, move to the right side of the road to make the turn into the minor road. When on the other side of the road, be mindful of the cars coming from the other side of the road before you decide to enter the road. Allow the traffic to pass from your left if you have the space to do so. However, do not be afraid to stop the traffic behind you and take the central position if it is not possible.
Filtering Through Traffic
When the flow of traffic slows down, it becomes congested. This is when you, as an E-biker, get advantages over motorists. You can easily filter through traffic without having to wait for the dreadful traffic to clear. You can easily ride through the slowed-down traffic and join the flow when it starts to move again. However, there are certain ways you can do this safely without running the risk of a crash.
The best method to filter depends on the situation of the traffic at hand. Many cyclists like to filter through the left. However, this imposes a risk since some drivers make a sudden lane switch or turn without indicating. Moreover, if the traffic is stationary, a person in the car can open the door, putting you at the risk of a dump. Make sure that you do not filter alongside long vehicles that do not have a blind spot.
Another common way to filter is between two lanes; this method is very useful in stationary traffic. Before you decide to filter between, be aware of the drivers that make a sudden lane switch. Furthermore, spaces between lanes tend to narrow to great extends because some drivers do not always drive in a straight line.
Be Wary of Obstructions on the Biking Lane
Bike lanes are not very wide, and you have to manage riding on the narrow pathway with little room to move across. Thus, the challenge of riding on them comes with the conjunction of all the people putting objects on them, especially during garbage day. Thankfully, if you are riding an E-biking, you get the advantage of quickly getting around and away from unexpected obstacles that pop in front of you.
Stay Out of a Driver’s Blind Spot
This rule is incredibly important for all E-bikers. It applies most evidently at a traffic light, stops signs, or high-speed signs. Car drivers hardly expect cyclists most of the time. Unless there is a bike lane near the cub, you have to pay extra attention in every direction.
Hand position is particularly important if you are riding an E-bike. Make sure to keep one hand on the handlebar and brakes at all times. When you are stopping an E-bike, it is very different from braking on a conventional bike. The momentum is immense in comparison. Thus, make sure that your hands are on the handle so you can maintain the balance and brake instantly whenever you get the chance.
Carry the Necessary Tools
If you plan to travel a long distance via E-bike, you must bring along all the necessary tools. The most important add-on for E-bikes is the battery charger. With the charger, you do not have to worry about the battery dying. You can also find portable charging accessories that allow you to recharge your batteries without looking for a power source.
Why Riding E-bikes is Safer than Conventional Bikes
There are some great advantages of riding an E-bike in place of a normal bicycle. It is not only because they are easier to ride, but also because they are safer. E-bikes give you much more control when you are riding in traffic and allow you to avoid problems quickly.
The states provide very little riding space to cyclists than cars, and yet, every day, they share their commutes with numerous cars and try to avoid damage. The faster acceleration of E-bikes is one of their greatest advantages compared to conventional bikes in terms of safety.
This may sound silly since most people find the additional speed as a death threat and crashing opportunity. However, the faster acceleration prevents accidents and helps riders avoid them. When you consider that the speed difference of cars and conventional bikers on the road, this puts the conventional cyclist at a big disadvantage of speeding away from danger. The combination of the two commuting options is unfair and unjust.
E-bikes, therefore, solve this problem by providing the bikers with some extra electronic thrust. This way, they can dodge and pace away from potential accident situations and threats. The average conventional bike rider takes time to get their bikes up to speed from a completely static position. This makes them susceptible to the quick changes of direction of the drivers, which ultimately puts them at risk of accidents.
However, be mindful of not surprising drivers with the top acceleration of your E-bike; this is because drivers have a perception of how fast a normal cycle can travel. Thus, they may bump into you without noticing the speed at which you are accelerating. Keep your average speed minimum when riding in traffic or alongside a car.
The power of the E-bike also allows you to ride through difficult and rough terrains without too much problem. Rough surfaces are typically more difficult to ride across when you are on a conventional bike; locations such as these include off roads, parks, hills, and mud.
Keep in mind that an E-bike can take you to greater and farther distances, depending on your skill level and stamina. SO, keep in mind that the farther you travel, the more you are likely to face traffic situations that put you at risk of major or minor accidents, except if you are traveling to a location that is free from traffic.
Rules of the Road
Whether you are riding an E-bike, a conventional bicycle, or a motorized bike, the basic rules of the road stay the same regardless of your transporting mode. Here’s what you must know about the rules of the road to ensure the safety of yourself and others and also to avoid penalties.
Give Way to Pedestrians
Pedestrians have the right of way when they are walking across the road or passing by on a zebra walk. You must watch out for the pedestrians and stop for them to cross the road if you ever encounter one.
It is much safer for E-bikers to ride on the sidewalk in the absence of a bike lane. However, before you decide to do that, make sure that you are not breaking any law. Some places allow E-bikers to ride on the sidewalk, while others don’t.
Follow the Flow
Make sure that you are riding in the same direction as the traffic. Riding against the flow of traffic is very dangerous, which is why the state does not allow any biker or motorist to do so. Drivers have to maintain three feet of distance from E-bikers just so they can safely travel with the flow of the traffic.
Obey the Traffic Laws
Just like all other vehicles, E-bikers also have to stop at stop signs and traffic lights. Just because they differ from motorists does not mean that they get an exemption from the traffic laws. They not only have to obey traffic but also make sure that they have similar lights installations and reflectors when you are riding at nighttime.
Overall, E-biking is all about finding an eco-friendly, convenient, and most importantly, enjoyable means of transport. It helps you to enjoy the great outdoors and manages to put a smile on your face no matter where you are in your life. When you signal and interact with cars, you experience a variety of situations and scenarios on the road.
On an E-bike, you will come across various pathways and traffic formations, such as bike lanes, no bike lanes, commercial streets, residential streets, intersections, parking lots, and many others. To face all of these on an E-bike, you require a certain type of awareness, skills, and techniques to stay safe during heavy traffic. Thus, you must plan and strategize your decisions on an E-bike by considering and analyzing every situation ahead of you.