Electric motorcycles have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years. According to information provided by MotorCyclesData, global electric motorcycle sales now exceed 10 million per year, with particularly strong growth in Western countries, including the United States.
You may be wondering: Are electric motorcycles safe for adults? In this article, our Georgia motorcycle accident attorney answers the question by highlighting the key things to know about the safety of electric motorcycles and explains what you should do if you are involved in a crash.
What is an E Bike?
An electric motorcycle is a two-wheeled vehicle powered by an electric motor, operating using energy stored in a rechargeable battery. Unlike traditional motorcycles that run on internal combustion engines, electric motorcycles produce zero tailpipe emissions and are much quieter. They still offer instant torque, providing a swift and smooth acceleration experience.
How Safe are Electric Bikes?
At a baseline, electric motorcycles carry many of the same inherent risks as traditional motorcycles and are widely considered to be about as “dangerous” as gas-powered motorcycles. However, there are a few unique safety issues. For example, the quiet operation of an electric motorcycle not only reduces noise pollution but also presents potential challenges for pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers who might not hear an approaching motorcycle. Unlike gas-powered bikes, electric motorcycles have a lower center of gravity due to the battery placement, which can improve stability and handling but may feel a bit different to the operator. Experience with an electric motorcycle can contribute to making them safer.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF ELECTRIC BIKES?
Electric bikes (e-bikes) provide many advantages to their users. Of course, an e-bike also comes with its own set of safety concerns. Here are some of the most notable risks associated with electric bikes:
- Limited Safety Protection: Unlike full-sized automobiles, e-bikes do not offer a protective frame. In the event of a crash, riders are inherently exposed to direct impact, similar to gas-powered motorcycles. Unfortunately, the majority of e-bike crashes result in injuries to the rider.
- Increased Speed: E-bikes can reach higher speeds than traditional bicycles. Riders unfamiliar with these speeds might find it challenging to control the bike, leading to more serious crashes.
- Heavier Weight: Due to the battery and motor, e-bikes are generally heavier. This can make them harder to maneuver, especially in emergency situations—especially for riders with limited experience.
- Braking Distance: The increased weight and speed mean that e-bikes may require a longer distance to come to a complete stop, posing risks at intersections and in traffic.
- Reduced Auditory Awareness: The quiet nature of e-bikes can make them less noticeable to pedestrians and other road users, increasing the chance of collisions.
- Over-reliance on Power Assistance: Relying too much on electric assist can result in reduced awareness or preparedness for situations when the battery dies or the motor fails.
ARE ELECTRIC BIKES SAFER THAN MOTORCYCLES?
Probably not—but there is also no evidence that they are any more dangerous. Indeed, the fundamental safety profile between electric motorcycles and their gasoline counterparts is relatively comparable. Both types of motorcycles expose the rider to similar risks due to their two-wheel design, lack of a protective frame, and exposure to traffic.
Electric motorcycles have certain advantages. They typically offer a smoother acceleration curve and lack the gear shifting often associated with gas motorcycles, potentially reducing distractions. Additionally, they operate more quietly, reducing noise pollution. However, this quietness can be a double-edged sword, as pedestrians and other road users might not hear an e-bike.
From a mechanical perspective, electric motorcycles have fewer moving parts, which might imply fewer maintenance issues, but maintenance neglect can pose risks regardless of the motorcycle type. On the flip side, gas motorcycles have been around for a longer time, meaning there’s a more established knowledge base and experience with their safety nuances and required maintenance.
WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT AN ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLE?
As noted previously, the American market for electric motorcycles is booming. You may be wondering: Why would someone want to get an e bike? There are a number of different potential advantages. Here are some of the top benefits of e bikes:
- Eco-Friendly: Electric motorcycles produce zero tailpipe emissions, making them a greener choice. Riding electric means contributing less to air pollution and reducing one’s carbon footprint.
- Reduced Operating Costs: Electricity is generally cheaper than gasoline—especially during times when gas prices jump up. The costs of charging an electric motorcycle can be significantly lower than refueling a gas-powered bike.
- Lower Maintenance: With fewer moving parts compared to combustion engines, electric motorcycles often require less frequent maintenance. There is no need for oil changes, and wear and tear on components like brakes can be reduced.
- Smooth Performance: Electric motorcycles provide instant torque, ensuring swift and smooth acceleration. The absence of gear-shifting can offer a seamless riding experience.
ARE E BIKES SAFE FOR SENIOR CITIZENS?
E-bikes can be a suitable transportation option for senior citizens. Many senior citizens in Georgia and throughout the country safely operate electric bikes. However, given the potential for increased speed and the bike’s weight, seniors should exercise additional caution. It is essential for them to choose e-bikes with a comfortable and stable design, undergo proper training, and always wear protective gear.
E Bike Riders Should Always Wear a Helmet
Regardless of what powers the motorcycle, wearing a helmet is paramount for rider safety. Helmets significantly reduce the severity of head injuries, which are the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents. The data is overwhelming: Motorcycle helmets help prevent brain injuries and save lives. Notably, Georgia law requires motorcyclists, including those on an electric motorcycle, to wear a helmet whenever they ride on public roads.
Four Steps to Take If You are Involved in an Electric Motorcycle Crash in Georgia
Following an electric motorcycle crash, it is important to know the right steps to take to protect your rights and interests. Here are four of the most important things you should do after an electric motorcycle accident in Georgia:
- Stop the E-Bike and Report the Accident: First and foremost, if you are involved in an accident, it is critical to stop your bike immediately and stay at the scene. Georgia law requires drivers involved in an accident resulting in injury or significant property damage to report it. Electric motorcycle accidents are no exception. Call the local police or sheriff’s department to report the accident. The responding law enforcement officer(s) will help control the scene and write an official crash report.
- Get Prompt Medical Attention for Any Injuries: Severe injuries require immediate emergency medical attention. Beyond that, it is important for motorcyclists to recognize that adrenaline may mask the symptoms of serious injuries, which may not present immediately. All motorcycle accident injuries should be evaluated by a licensed doctor. You will not be able to bring a personal injury claim for an electric motorcycle crash unless you see a doctor.
- Document the Electric Bike Accident: Liability for a motorcycle accident is based on fault. To support any legal claim that you may have after an electric motorcycle accident, gather as much evidence as possible at the scene. Use your smartphone to take photos or videos of the accident scene, your motorcycle’s damage, and any visible injuries. If there were any witnesses, ask for their contact information.
- Consult With a Georgia Attorney Before an Insurer: Insurance companies prioritize their interests. Before making any statements to insurance companies, seek advice from a Georgia attorney experienced in motorcycle accidents. A qualified attorney can guide you through the complex process, ensuring that your rights are protected, and that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT CLAIMS IN GEORGIA
Were you involved in an electric motorcycle crash in Georgia? If so, it is useful to have a general understanding of the legal claims process. Here is a key thing to know: The standard of liability for an electric motorcycle accident is the same as the standard for a more traditional motorcycle accident. Here are the most notable points about motorcycle liability in Georgia.
- At-Fault State: Georgia operates under the “at-fault” system. This means that the party determined to be responsible, or “at fault,” for causing the accident is liable for damages. The at-fault party’s insurance company typically covers the costs related to injuries.
- Comparative Negligence: Georgia follows the “modified comparative negligence” rule. If you are partly at fault for the e-bike accident, your compensation may be reduced by the percentage of your fault. However, if you are found to be 50 percent or more responsible, you may be barred from recovering any compensation from the other party.
- Statute of Limitations: Time is of the essence. In Georgia, you typically have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. Following an e-bike accident, it is imperative that injured victims consult with an experienced Georgia motorcycle accident lawyer right away. Do not fall behind in the claims process.
WE HELP ELECTRIC BIKE ACCIDENT VICTIMS SECURE THE MAXIMUM COMPENSATION
Following an electric bike accident in Georgia, it is imperative that victims and their families can take action to secure the maximum financial compensation. Unfortunately, major insurance carriers can make the civil legal claims process challenging. They often fight hard to resolve legal claims for less than the full and fair value. At Lawbike Motorcycle Injury Lawyers, we specialize in motorcycle accident claims and have extensive experience handling electric motorcycle accidents. Along with other types of financial compensation, our firm helps injured victims seek damages for:
- Property damage, including e bike repairs or replacement;
- Ambulance costs and emergency medical treatment;
- Hospital bills and other health care costs;
- Physical therapy and rehabilitative medical support;
- Loss of wages and loss of earning power;
- Pain and suffering & mental anguish;
- Permanent disability or permanent disfigurement; and
- Wrongful death of a family member.
Contact Our Georgia Electric Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer Today
At Lawbike Motorcycle Injury Lawyers, our Georgia electric motorcycle accident attorneys are skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable advocates for injured victims. Hurt in an electric motorcycle crash? We are here to help. Give us a call at 1-866-529-2453 today or contact us online today to set up a free, no obligation initial consultation. From our law offices in Georgia, we handle motorcycle accident claims throughout all of Georgia.