A Flurry of E-Bike Accidents Sound the Alarm
If you spend a day in any of the major downtown areas in Southern California, you’re sure to see at least one or two e-bikes zipping around town. You’ve likely had your questions about how safe they are, if they’re practical for the average rider, and what the legalities are surrounding this relatively new technology. As e-bike accidents increase across the country, worried parents have wondered what they can do to keep their teen riders safe. At the Law Offices of Robin D. Perry & Associates, our bike accident lawyers advocate for injured victims and their loved ones every single day.
One of the main issues that come up repeatedly is the speed limits of e-bikes. The majority of e-bikes are shipped to consumers with a speed lock that limits riders to 20 to 28 miles per hour. However, enterprising teens and adult riders have found a way around it. Some riders hack the speed limit function, even though doing so is illegal. This allows riders to travel at far higher—and less safe—speeds.
For more than 20 years, the Law Offices of Robin D. Perry & Associates has served the people of Southern California. Our firm’s focus on giving back to our community highlights our commitment to the people we serve. If you’ve been injured in an e-bike accident, call us at 562-216-2944 to find out how we can help you.
The E-Bike Trend
E-bikes are widely considered an eco-friendly transportation method that combines the speed of vehicles with the enjoyment of cycling. From the very beginning, e-bikes have appealed to a wide range of people. You’ll see people from every walk of life on e-bikes, from teenagers and young professionals to retirees enjoying leisurely rides on California’s scenic routes.
The trend isn’t just American, either. E-bikes have taken off in many other countries, and regulations governing their use vary across Europe and Asia. This complicates matters for local legislators—while they may set speed limit laws and regulations, bikes coming from overseas may not necessarily follow those regulations.
An Uptick in Crashes
The news highlights a disturbing trend in the e-bike world. E-bike accidents have caused the deaths of multiple young riders, tearing apart communities and devastating families. In one accident, an Encinitas rider was hit and killed by a work van while making a left turn on his e-bike. In another, a young girl riding with her friend died when she was thrown to the concrete. In still another collision, an 11-year-old boy walked away without injury when the front wheel of his bike detached and flipped him over the handlebars.
While companies that manufacture e-bikes have expressed their condolences to families, they have rarely taken responsibility for any flaws in their bikes. Many state in their manuals that riders should be at least 18—only to feature raving testimonials on their websites from parents of teenagers who marvel at the convenience of e-bikes.
Safety Risks and Challenges
Why are e-bikes leading to so many collisions? In some cases, the danger lies squarely with drivers of cars and other passenger vehicles. Bicyclists of all types are always at risk of a car crash, and it’s no different for e-bike riders. In many other cases, though, the role of the e-bike is obvious.
There is still relatively little known about e-bikes. This means that there’s limited safety information out there and little way for parents to protect their teenagers from the dangers of e-bikes. E-bikes are quite novel, meaning that some riders are willing to take risks to test the limits of their new bikes.
Some have called for greater restrictions and regulations on e-bikes, similar to those used across Europe. In France, for example, removing the speed limiter on a bike comes with a hefty fine. Requiring riders to undergo training and earn a license could make the roads a bit safer for riders.
While legislators and advocates work out these issues, it’s up to parents and guardians to keep their teen riders safe.
Injured in a Crash? Contact the Bike Accident Lawyers Law Offices of Robin D. Perry & Associates Now
If you have sustained injuries in a bike accident, it’s time to talk to the bike accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Robin D. Perry & Associates. Let us help you explore your options and fight for justice on your behalf. Set up a consultation now by calling us at 562-216-2944 or reaching out to us online.
Attorney Robin D. Perry has been part of the Long Beach Community for over 25 years handling business litigation, employment litigation and advising, criminal defense, personal injury and code enforcement defense for businesses.