electric bike accidentElectric bikes, commonly known as eBikes, are bicycles that feature a motor that assists in the operation of the bike. Electric bicycles are becoming increasingly popular and quite commonplace on roads and in cities throughout California.

Is an electric bike safe?

Because an electric bike operates at higher speeds than traditional bikes, a greater risk of injury does exist when an eBike accident occurs. Therefore, anyone who has been involved in or knows someone who has had an eBike accident should consult an experienced eBike accident attorney. A California eBike accident lawyer knows the best way to pursue any damages and fight for the appropriate compensation for those injured in an electric bicycle accident.

How many people get hurt by electric bikes?

Unfortunately, far less data is available concerning eBike accidents and injuries compared to conventional bicycle accidents. The information that does exist, however, shows that those operating an electric bicycle are far more likely to suffer severe injuries following an accident when compared to those injured while using conventional bicycles. The main factor is the electric bicycle’s ability to travel at a far greater rate of speed than traditional bicycles, reaching, in some instances, up to 28 mph.

Combined with an eBike’s ability to accelerate faster, those higher speeds can cause an operator to easily lose control of the bike, particularly if they are new to electric bicycles and have not had a lot of riding experience. Furthermore, electric bicycles weigh more than conventional bikes because of their motors. That additional weight means longer stopping distances and a greater risk for roll-over accidents.

Common injuries associated with electric bicycle accidents include:

  • back & neck injuries
  • concussions 
  • knee & shoulder tears 
  • internal injuries 
  • broken bones

Why shouldn’t you get an eBike?

Those considering the purchase of an electric bicycle should remember that eBikes riders are not only more susceptible to serious injuries from bike accidents, but eBikes are prone to accidents resulting from defects and malfunctions. These accidents may include controller malfunctions, bearing lock-ups, throttle stickiness, front-wheel failures, and motor & battery issues. The most common eBike accidents associated with defects and malfunctions are fires and explosions related to battery malfunctions, both while operating the bike or charging it.

Although the safety of an eBike is a concern that should be taken seriously, most experts agree that the use of an electric bicycle is just as safe as using a traditional bike, as long as you follow the rules of the road, properly care for your eBike, and take all necessary safety precautions.

There are several pros and cons associated with owning and operating an eBike, and, in the end, it is up to the individual to decide if an electric bike is right for them.

According to eBike owners, some of the pros of owning an electric bike is that they are:

  • easy to use
  • can be used just like a traditional bicycle when the battery dies
  • can travel up to 70 miles on a single charge
  • can assist the operator when the motor is in use, which is especially useful when going up hills
  • clean and environmentally friendly

Some of the cons of owning an eBike include the fact that they are:

  • typically more expensive than traditional bikes
  • heavier than conventional bikes
  • risker than conventional bikes because they have the potential to cause more significant injuries in an accident
  • highly desirable and, therefore, pose a greater risk of being stolen

Can electric bikes explode?

Although reported incidents are rare, electric bicycles have been known to catch fire and even explode because they are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which can overheat, catch fire, and cause explosions. A lithium-ion battery stores significant energy and can pose a considerable threat to your health and safety if it is not handled appropriately. Like any other product, there is always the chance that your eBike’s lithium-ion battery can be defective. In those cases, significant fire risk can still exist, no matter how many safety precautions you take,

Should you find yourself in a scenario where your eBike’s lithium-ion battery does catch fire, use either a standard foam fire extinguisher, powder graphite, copper powder, sodium carbonate, CO2, or ABC dry chemical to extinguish the fire. When extinguishing the fire is not possible, it is best to let it burn out on its own. Using water to douse the immediate area surrounding the eBike will usually help keep the fire contained and prevent the spread.

Consult a California Electric Bike Attorney If You’re Involved in an eBike Accident

Although there are significant differences between conventional bicycle accidents and eBike accidents, California’s personal injury law and accident claim process are generally similar for both types of accidents. However, the unique features and characteristics of eBikes can affect the outcome of your accident claim. Therefore, if you or someone you love is involved in an electric bike accident, you must hire an accident attorney with experience in such cases.

 The attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas and Associates have experience in handling California eBike accident cases. Whether an electric bike fire caused your injury due to manufacturer negligence or if you were injured while operating your electric bike in California, our expert team could help.

Please call 949-727-9300 to discuss your case with a Los Angeles eBike accident lawyer, or fill out our free consultation form.

 

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