Combining “Big City” Experience With “Small Town” Service
Photo of the legal professionals at Lozner & Mastropietro

E-bikes are popular, but they are not risk-free

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2023 | Personal Injury

In response to environmental concerns, many people in New York are seeking greener means of transportation compared with traditional automobiles. Some found electronic bicycles (e-bikes) to be the right combination of speedy transport and a reduced carbon footprint. But e-bikes present dangers that traditional bicycles do not, both to riders and to other bicyclists and pedestrians.

Legal use of e-bikes

New York City permits e-biking with a few limitations. E-bikes may only be ridden in bike lanes and on roads with a speed limit of 30 mph or less. E-bikers cannot exceed a speed of 25 mph or less, depending on the capabilities of the bike.

Anyone age 16 and older can use an e-bike in New York City. Helmets are only required if the e-bike can throttle up to 25 mph and has operable pedals. Unlike motorcycles, you do not need a special license to ride an e-bike and e-bikes do not need to be registered.

But how risky is e-biking?

All of this may initially make e-bikes look like a sensible option—environmentally friendly, cost-effective and easy to use. Still, the safety of e-bikes can be called into question.

One 2019 study of e-bike use in the United States reported e-bike users were more apt to sustain internal injuries necessitating hospitalization following a crash compared with users of powered scooters or traditional bicycles.

Injury-causing collisions with pedestrians were three times more likely to involve e-bikes compared with power scooters or traditional bicycles.

Why is e-biking risky?

E-biking is risky for several reasons. First, while a traditional bike, including Citi Bikes, travel at speeds under 10 mph, e-bikes can travel more than 20 mph. This greater rate of speed makes crashes more likely and more dangerous.

In addition, e-bikes are growing in popularity. This is especially true since over the last few years when many people were less likely to use public transportation such as buses or subways. User inexperience, recklessness and lack of due care can also contribute to e-bike collisions.

Moreover, New York City streets simply were not designed for e-bikes. Users of e-bikes face the same risks that motorcyclists do of not being seen if they share the street with automobiles. However, bike lanes were not designed for the faster speeds of e-bikes or may not be available at all.

Legal representation from a New York personal injury lawyer

If you have had an e-bike accident that was due to the negligence of another party, you may have a justifiable personal injury claim for compensation. If you are dealing with your injuries and all of the expenses that go with those injuries, you will need the compensation to help you to get through such a difficult period in your life.

Regarding e-bikes, until public infrastructure improves, and user inexperience and recklessness go down, e-bikes will remain environmentally friendly, but they will not be risk-free.


Rss Feed