Skip to Main Content

Safety Considerations to Be Aware of ...

E-Bikes and E-Scooters are different from traditional bicycles and scooters. These differences include:

  • Electric Motors and Increased Speed - E-Bikes and E-Scooters have electric motors that in combination with pedaling power make them potentially faster than traditional bicycles.
       - The average bicyclist rides around 10-13 mph. E-Bikes can ride faster, and often do, legally up to 20 mph with class 1 and 2 E-Bikes, and 25 mph with class 3 E-Bikes in NYC. E-Scooters can legally ride up to 15 mph in NYC, and 20 mph in the state.
       - While E-Bikes come with electric motor wattage designations, generally from 250w to the legal limit of 750w, most E-Bikes actually have different levels of torque/power and can feel different.
       - The sensation of e-assisted acceleration along with high cruising speeds requires practice before you take to the road to be comfortable and in control. A significant number of E-Bike and E-Scooter crashes happen on the first or second attempted ride. New riders also fall by themselves or run into obstacles more often than experienced E-Bike or E-Scooter riders.
  • Weight and Handling - They weigh substantially more than traditional bicycles and are generally not as responsive if it’s necessary to evasively turn or brake quickly.
  • Controls - They can have varying types of controls for speed and come with gear selection, as well as front /rear brakes, the function of which requires familiarity to synchronize and operate safely.
       - Be smart and cautious while orienting to an E-Bike and E-Scooter. The Consumer Product Safety Commission completed a national study that found that E-Bikes crashed more than traditional bikes, and that there were more people who suffered internal injuries that required hospitalization and surgery. E-Bikes were also more likely to hit pedestrians. E-Scooters also experienced a higher likelihood of head injury than E-Bikes, often because these riders wore helmets less frequently than E-Bike riders. We strongly recommend wearing a helmet to improve your safety.

Know Your E-Bike and E-Scooter Before You Ride on the Road:

  • Observe how battery storage information works and make sure it is charged.
  • Position your seat and handlebars where they are most comfortable and efficient. E-Bikes come in fewer sizes than traditional bicycles and are generally built to accommodate riders through seat and handlebar adjustments.
  • Get accustomed to the controls and speed using a quiet parking lot or road.Practice Tips for E-Bikes and
  • Get a feel for the brakes by squeezing the brake levers. Use both brakes when slowing down or stopping. Be aware that the left brake for the front brakes can be more grippy for stopping.
  • Observe how the throttle or speed setting works. There are usually multiple speed settings from no e-assistance to max e-assistance.
  • Pick up the rear wheel and practice shifting the gears. Start in the easiest gear that is comfortable.\
  • Helmets are not always required, but are recommended. However, helmets are required for 16 and 17-year-olds operating an E-Scooter and Class 3 E-Bike operators in New York City.

Practice Tips for E-Bikes and E-Scooters:

  • Practice on a flat surface away from traffic.
  • Step through or over your E-Bike while placing your feet flat on the ground. Move the E-Bike side to side to feel the balance points.
  • Start with no pedal assist and in a low gear. Just pedal to feel the weight of the E-Bike.
  • Start and stop in a straight line. Get a feel for the brakes.
  • Engage the power at the lowest level and ride slowly turning the handlebars right and left. The pedal assist power typically kicks in at the second pedal revolution.
  • Apply incrementally more power and practice accelerating and stopping.
  • Practice turning using different arcs.
  • When you have gone through the power band and the range of gears and feel in control, then consider riding on the road.

Practice Tips for E- Scooters:

  • Use the same approach as E-Bikes.
  • Place a strong leg on the foot board.
  • Start with physically pushing off with your leg before engaging the lowest power setting.
  • Practice slow, shallow turns at first. Be aware that E-Scooters can feel more tippy than traditional bicycles because of a higher center of gravity, and are more sensitive to cracks in pavement and other road obstacles.
  • E-Scooters should ride on roads and bike paths, and not on sidewalks, unless designated by your locality.

Tips for First Rides on the Road:

  • Choose a flat and quiet road to start on.
  • Try to remain seated. Standing on the pedals is more unstable.
  • Start with power at a low level and ride in low assist as much as possible.
  • Ride in a predictable line, no swerving.
  • Scan ahead. Reduce power when coming up on turns and intersections.
  • Control the bike before increasing speed.
  • Anticipate stopping earlier because of the increased weight of the E-Bike.
  • Be respectful to pedestrians and traditional bicyclists when passing them by telling them “behind you” or “on your left.” Be courteous.

Important Summary Points:

  • Ride in compliance with NYS Vehicle and Traffic Laws for bicycles. The laws with the addition of class 1, 2, or 3 designation for E-Bikes for traditional bicycles and E-Bikes are the same. In NYS E-Bikes are considered bicycles.
  • Know your E-Bike and E-Scooter’s controls, practice riding before choosing a comfortable road to start riding in traffic.
  • Be conservative in your first few rides in traffic. Use low power and progress to higher assist power and speeds.

View a print-friendly version

Read about the NYS Ebike Law 

Contact Us | Events | Search | Subscribe

© All Rights Reserved.

Website designed and developed by ADG.
ADG is a certified Women Owned Business