How To Ride an E-Bike Safely on the Road
There are many things to consider when it’s time to hit the road on your e-bike, but safety is the most vital factor. You have to take into consideration the vehicles you share the road with, the local riding regulations for motorized bikes, and your accessories and gear that coincide with your overall safety.
It’s essential to note that many electric bike safety tips will mirror traditional bicycle safety suggestions, so if you have experience, you are one step ahead. After you factor in the battery, motor, and speed at which you will travel, you must enhance the safety features and think more like a motorist. We created this well-thought-out care guide to ensure you can remain safe on the road while riding your beloved e-bike. Let’s go!
Ride With Traffic and Not Against It
Riding with the flow of traffic is better than riding against it. Some people feel that seeing vehicles coming toward you can help you and avoid them from sneaking up on you. But when you ride with the flow of traffic, you are more likely to be treated like any other traveler on the road. Generally, motorists are less likely to check for traffic coming opposite direction to them, so when you ride with the flow, you fit into their view panel more organically.
Invest in a Properly Fitting Helmet
You may never experience a situation where your helmet does anything for you, but on the off chance you get into an accident, wearing a properly fitting helmet can save your life. Many argue about how ridiculous they may look while wearing a helmet, but it will look even more ridiculous when your life changes or ends because you didn’t wear one.
It’s essential the helmet fits your head properly and helps your airflow as you cruise along. A few other things to consider when buying a helmet include:
- Warmth in cold weather
- Protection from the sun to ensure good visibility
- Adjustable chin strap
Utilize Warning Devices
Installing warning devices on your electric bicycle can provide you with an extra method of defense against other motorists. Things like a bell or horn can announce your presence if you fall into a driver’s blind spot or need to make a directional shift.
Horns are usually the most suitable options because of how loud they are compared to a bell. But a bell may be feasible if you only commute around the neighborhood where things are more still.
Consider Adding Lighting Accessories
Another accessory you can consider adding is lighting. This is a relatively easy and effective way to always maintain visibility, especially if you commute during dark hours, whether purposely or accidentally. Motorists are already aware of the lighting demands for a given period, so by adding lights to your electric bicycle, you make yourself more likely to be noticed.
A few excellent locations for lighting include:
- Blinking handlebar light
- Headlamp for a helmet
- Red rear light
- Reflective patches on the tire wells
Monitor Tire Pressure
Tire pressure might not seem too valuable, but your electric bike needs to maintain an adequate range. If you’re consistently riding on varied terrain or commuting at high speeds, you want to ensure you check the tire pressure before taking off for your ride. By doing this one quick step, you can mitigate any potential traveling hazards or get stuck somewhere unsafe.
While checking the overall pressure, this is an excellent time to do a once-over on the tire’s condition. They are subject to normal wear and tear like any other vehicle, so inspecting them will keep you in the loop on their life cycle. It’s essential to remember that the tires on an electric bike can drastically alter the motor and battery’s ability to effectively communicate with the bike itself.
Invest in a Handlebar Mirror
Similar to how lighting will communicate with other motorists, attaching a handlebar mirror will help you make adequate signals. You will have a better understanding of the traffic surrounding you, which can help you communicate with them more effectively.
Things like making a signal for turning or gauging depth and distance are easier when you can see clearly. Additionally, you are more likely to experience an accident from the backside in a sudden lane change than you are from the front, so investing in a handlebar mirror is a great solution to gain traffic insight.
Eye Contact Matters
Assuming another driver sees you can get you involved in a serious accident. To avoid assumptions and ensure you’re being seen, make eye contact with everyone around you. This is especially valuable at intersections or stop signs where it is uncertain who goes first.
By making direct eye contact, you can communicate effectively with those you share the road with and ensure you can move through an intersection with ease. It’s possible you can make eye contact with somebody behind you through the handlebar mirror and communicate any lane shift or turning needs. These best practices can make or break your experience on an electric bike, so consider making them a habit early on.
Respect the Battery
Respecting your electric bike’s battery is just part of owning and maintaining the bicycle. And when you’re traveling, no matter the distance or location, you should always remain in the know about how well your battery is performing.
Many electric bike users invest in a backup battery or a portable charging station to ensure they possess the ability to charge the battery anywhere. Other safety measures include researching your destination beforehand to see if they are compatible with your charging needs. You should also follow through with a charging plan before departure to guarantee your ability to ride your e-bike around safely.
Partner with your trusted e-bike vendor to understand best practices around the battery’s integrity and usage rates. Browse our selection of Bianchi e-bikes to learn more about electric bikes that can go the distance.
To get your hands on quality and worthwhile investment, reach out to Voltaire Cycles today! We offer a range of Bianchi and Stealth electric bicycle options suitable for most of life’s adventures.