Back in the 1970’s, children coveted the Western Flyer Mean Machine. It was a popular bike. A child could ride a bike that looked and felt just like a sleek motorcycle.
My parents, like some others, did not want me to aspire to ride motorcycles or any self-propelled bike. My parents deemed them dangerous. So, they would not get me a Mean Machine. Regardless of the potential danger, the fascination with creating a bike that could propel itself with a motor has been around since the 1860’s.
These days, the latest self-propelled bike is the “e-bike” or electronic bike. E-bikes are here to stay. In 2019, wholesale bike sales were down for every category except e-bikes, which were up 24.7% over the previous year, according to a Bicycle Product Suppliers Association Sell-in Report. Bicycle manufacturer Trek described e-bikes as the company’s fastest-growing segment.
Regardless of the popularity, the potential danger of riding a self-propelled e-bike has not changed. Recently, famous America’s Got Talent judge, Simon Cowell purchased and crashed his e-bike on his own property causing himself severe injuries. It was reported that he broke his back requiring surgically implanted rods and screws. His injury was severe and life-changing. Importantly, if we are contemplating buying or using an e-bike, we can learn from Mr. Cowell’s accident.
The best tip for using an e-bike comes directly from Simon Cowell himself. He Tweeted on August 9, 2020:
“Some good advice… If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time.”
Mr. Cowell’s advice is important. When you get on an e-bike, you have no idea as to the torque, acceleration rate, or stopping rate. The manual will help you to know what to expect. Wearing a helmet on an e-bike is critically important. Where the average speed of a bike is 10-20 miles per hour, the e-bike is 20-30 miles per hour or more. A helmet can prevent serious head injuries in the event of a fall. Finally, practice increased situational awareness. Understanding that one is traveling 2-3 times faster on an e-bike than a regular bike, one should be 10 times more cautious.
If you or a loved one are injured and an e-bike is involved, you should contact the attorneys at Lesser, Lesser, Landy and Smith. In some cases, despite the precautions we take, others negligently cause accidents with e-bikes. The attorneys at Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith have been helping injured bikers and e-bikers successfully for decades.
This blog was written by Partner Chad Hastings.