Essential E-Bike Safety Tips

Electric bikes, or e-bikes, have become more common in Las Vegas due to rentable options available to the public. In addition, e-bike sales have almost quadrupled in the United States since 2019. An e-bike can be an enjoyable way to get around, but it is important to take a few actions to help ensure your safety as a rider.

Always Wear a Helmet

Under Nevada law, e-bike riders are not required to wear helmets. However, doing so can significantly reduce your risk of suffering a head or brain injury in an e-bike accident. A bicycle helmet can absorb and disperse the forces of an impact against your skull in a collision, reducing the risk of a serious traumatic brain injury.

Brain injuries can be more common in electric bicycle accidents than standard bicycles due to higher speeds of travel. Electric bikes can travel at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, laws that require bicycle helmets have resulted in a 20 percent to 55 percent reduction in head injuries.

Obey Nevada’s Traffic Laws

Riding an e-bike does not make you exempt from Nevada’s traffic laws and roadway rules. Under state law, the same rules and responsibilities apply to e-bicycle and bicycle riders as motor vehicle drivers. These include:

  • Riding in the same direction as traffic, as far to the right-hand side as practicable.
  • Obeying all posted speed limits and riding at a speed that is reasonable for conditions.
  • Abiding by all traffic signs and signals, including traffic lights and stop signs.
  • Yielding the right-of-way to other road users at intersections, when applicable.
  • Using hand signals when making turns and stops.
  • Riding at least three feet away from parked cars.
  • Maintaining a safe following distance from other vehicles.

Obeying Nevada’s traffic laws can help you avoid an e-bike accident by keeping you out of the path of motor vehicles. It can keep your movements predictable and your bike more visible to surrounding motorists.

Optimize Your Visibility

Many e-bike and bike accidents occur due to a lack of visibility. Motor vehicle drivers may fail to notice bicyclists in adjacent lanes, bicycle lanes or intersections. Do what you can to enhance your visibility by wearing brightly colored clothing or reflective material. Avoid riding your e-bike at night, when possible. If you must ride between dusk and dawn, make sure you have the required equipment: a front white lamp visible from at least 500 feet, a red tail reflector visible from 300 feet and reflective material on both sides of the e-bike.

Know Your E-Bike

Riding an e-bike that is not the correct size can increase the risk of a crash. Choose the correct electric bicycle for your height: your knee should sit nearly straight when your foot is on the pedal at its lowest position. Conduct a pre-ride check of your e-bike, assessing its brakes, tires and handlebar and performing any repairs or maintenance as needed to make sure it is in safe working condition. Only carry a passenger if your e-bike is designed to do so.

If you get injured in an electric bike accident despite your best efforts to stay safe, contact the Las Vegas bicycle accident lawyers at Koch & Brim, LLP for a free consultation. You may be able to recover financial compensation from a driver or another party.