E-bikes have gained favor for their battery-powered motors and fast speeds. Navigating an e-bike through congested Los Angeles traffic, however, comes with a much higher risk of collision-related injuries.
Researchers studying e-bike injuries discovered there was at least three times as much of a chance of serious harm occurring when compared to traditional pedal bike accidents. As reported by Reuters, internal injuries accounted for 17% of the bodily harm sustained from e-bike accidents. Only about 8% of the accidents involving pedal bikes and electric scooters resulted in serious internal injuries.
Higher speeds and increased motorist distractions
Higher travel speeds may contribute to a greater number of e-bike riders suffering serious injuries in a collision. Bicyclists also share the roads with motorists who may not always pay attention to their surroundings.
Distracted vehicle drivers represent a significant contributor to collisions involving all types of two-wheeled vehicles. The causes of distraction have grown far beyond holding a cell phone while driving. As noted by CBS News, the expanded driver-assistance technology now built into many cars has doubled the likelihood of motorist distractions.
Accident avoidance and taking legal action when necessary
Traffic rules generally require motorists to give bicyclists the right of way. E-bike riders, however, may decrease the risk of a collision by not taking it for granted that motorists see them approaching. The higher travel speeds afforded by an e-bike typically require paying heightened attention to motorists.
When bike-and-vehicle collisions do occur, immediate medical attention can help prevent serious health issues from developing. An injured bike rider may have legal recourse to obtain compensation for their damages and medical expenses.