“Is this safe?” – A question every parent asks. And when electric bikes and rides come to mind, it’s natural that the first thought would be flashing red lights indicating danger.
However, there are several ways to ensure that your kids stay safe when enjoying electric rides. Additionally, these tips can also apply to electric bikes for adults.
Wear the Proper Gear
This might seem obvious to the average person, however, many times putting on protective gear can be and has been overlooked.
Of course, wear a helmet anytime you ride any kind of moving machinery.
Knee pads and elbow pads are also extremely helpful and can come in handy to have while on a ride in case of an accident. These protect from bleeding, bruising, scratching and even larger injuries to the knees or elbows.
Furthermore, ensure that you are wearing the proper clothing. It’s a terrible idea to ride a bike—especially electric ones—in a dress, skirt, long shirt or anything that risks getting caught in the wheels or in your way.
Shoes can also be a problem, and the best solution is to always wear safe close-toed shoes that fit the rider well. Wearing sandals or open toed shoes increases the risk of it falling off, getting caught somewhere or becoming a distraction to the rider.
Use Your Warning Devices
Electric bikes come with lights and mirrors, but you can also attach LED lights to act as turn indicators or warning signals. This becomes very useful, helpful, and safe when riding on the road or at night.
Additionally, Micah from eBikeSchool.com advises installing both a horn and a bell on your electric bike to warn cars and pedestrians when riding on the road.
Never Assume Traffic Sees You
Just like when driving a car, always be a defensive driver when riding a bike. When riding on roads, neighborhoods, or anywhere else with a chance of traffic, never assume that vehicles are aware that you are nearby.
This means riders should always look left, right, and left before crossing a street or coming to an intersection, just like we were taught as kids.
Even if you have a right away or got somewhere first, never assume the vehicle will agree with you.
Know the Regulations
Make sure you as a parent are aware of the different rules for electric bike riding on roads or in neighborhoods, as each city and state might be different.
Then, make sure your kids are aware of the dos and don’ts of the roads, including both city rules and your own. This step ensures that everyone is on the same page and abiding by the law, resulting in more safety.
Ride with Traffic, Not Against It
When riding on roads and in residential areas, be sure that the rider is going with traffic and not against it.
It is extremely dangerous to be riding straight into oncoming traffic, as this increases the risk of head-on collisions between the bike and a car. And of course, we all know who wins that battle every time.
Instead, make sure that you are riding with traffic. This means that if the car next to you is going north, so are you.
Ride your bike as if you were another car directly in front of or behind the vehicles in the lane beside you. There should never be a time when a vehicle is going north and you’re riding south.
Communication is Key
Communication is a huge factor when riding an electric bike. Warning signals, headlights, bells and horns are four great ways to make sure you have several ways to communicate with the traffic around you.
Additionally, make sure that you and your child rider are communicating as well. For example, riding a bike at night is dangerous, especially on roads. This is something you should communicate with your young rider before they take off.
Communication ensures that everyone is on the same page and safe.
Additionally, parents should know where their child will be riding at all times through communication in case an accident occurs.
Make Sure the Bike is Working Properly
Before even getting on, a responsible rider would check to make sure that everything is functioning right, the warning signals are usable, and nothing is out of the ordinary.
If anything is different than usual, always get a second opinion before riding to decrease the risk of danger. Riding a malfunctioning electric bike is not a situation you want to have on your hands.
Safety Can Still Be Fun
With the right gear, appropriate knowledge, and good communication, anyone is in for a fun ride.