Arizona is one of the warmest states in the country. People living in the state can enjoy more outdoor recreational activities throughout the year than in other states further north. Cycling is a popular warm-weather activity, and with the growing popularity of e-bikes, there are likely more people than ever traveling the state on two wheels. This is increasing concerns of more fatal e-bike accidents like that of a 47-year-old Prescott man on August 6th, 2022.
E-Bike Accidents and the Need for Reform
While e-bikes offer great convenience and opportunity, especially for riders with mobility issues, recent reports of accidents and injuries are concerning. One report written by NEISS and published in the journal Injury Prevention stated conclusively that e-bikes presented a higher risk of severe injury than traditional pedal bicycles. According to the report, based on data from 2000 to 2017, people injured in an e-bike accident were more likely to suffer internal injuries requiring hospital stays. Also, e-bike riders are three times more likely to experience pedestrian-involved accidents than pedal bikes or electric scooters.
With the growing popularity of e-bikes and their increased production and manufacture, Arizona needs to take action to protect its citizens. Existing laws do not do enough to prevent e-bike accidents. Riders are not even required to wear helmets to prevent severe head trauma. Reform needs to happen, but it will move slowly, which is why current e-bike riders need to take action to protect themselves and limit accident risks.
E-Bikes and Safety Education
Consumers are free to purchase and operate an e-bike without taking safety courses or securing a permit or license. While it is easy to buy and ride an e-bike, you must learn fundamental safety to reduce the risks of injuries and accidents.
1. Wear a Helmet and Pads
Because there is an increased risk of injury when riding an electric bike, it is essential to protect yourself. Helmets and pads will reduce the risks of severe injuries.
2. Watch Your Speed and Brake Early
Some e-bike accidents occur because riders are not used to riding at accelerated speeds. While an e-bike is still a bike, there is a learning curve. You need to practice with acceleration and braking. Know your bike before you take it out on an active roadway.
3. Make Yourself Visible
Drivers still need to adjust to the increased speed of electric bicycles. You can help them notice you by making yourself visible. Install lights, bells, and flags on your bike. Wear bright clothing. Also, avoid riding during times of heavy traffic or low visibility.
E-Bike Accidents and Legal Recourse
E-bike accidents represent murky legal territory because they are relatively new to the market. Still, accidents and injuries fall under the legal umbrella of personal injury law. You can sue the at-fault party for your injuries, including an electric bike manufacturer — if the product malfunctioned or did not work as advertised. There are many legal maneuvers you can make and actions you can take. Contact Sargon Law Group for a free consultation and to learn more.