More Californians are abandoning traditional bikes and gas-guzzling vehicles in favor of low-maintenance, environmentally friendly electric bikes. While Los Angeles’ ideal weather, flat terrain and liberal cycling laws should make it the most bike-friendly city, its narrow bike lanes are also among the most dangerous in the country.
Those considering traveling through LA on an e-bike should know the risks and what steps they can take to protect themselves.
LA tagged as the worst bike city in America
Despite its appeal, Los Angeles has garnered a reputation as the “worst bike city in America“, a testament to the number of hazards present in the city for cyclists. Over the past few years, the city has witnessed an alarming rise in bicycle-related deaths and injuries. Heavy traffic, distracted or speeding drivers and infrastructural shortcomings are largely to blame for these accidents.
Although motorists and truckers bear the primary responsibility for pedestrian safety, e-bikers can also do their part by taking all necessary precautions.
How can e-bike cyclists stay safe?
People may incorrectly assume that, just because an e-bike appears similar to a regular bike, it will be the same to ride and maneuver. But e-bikes are heavier and, depending on the type, typically faster than regular bikes. First-time e-bike riders should practice riding and gain a feel for the bike’s controls before venturing out on the road.
Moreover, because an e-bike runs fast, cyclists should invest in the right helmet. Since most bike helmets are crash-tested at slower speeds, they might not be enough to protect an e-bike cyclist.
Lastly, just the same as other motorists, those riding e-bikes should learn proper hand signals and riding etiquette. That means avoiding distractions and being aware of others on the road or sidewalks to avoid collisions.