Taking your ebike out on the road for the first time can be scary, especially in high-traffic areas. ICBC has outlined the differences between motor vehicles so you can be sure you are following the proper guidelines. To make riding on the road more comfortable, here are some fundamental ebike safety rules to keep you and others safe on the road when riding an ebike or any bike.
Firstly, you want to be predictable. Make a conscious effort to signal to others on the road what your intentions are. This includes using hand signals for upcoming turns. Extend your left arm straight to the side to indicate a left turn or, raise your left arm at 90 degrees to indicate a right turn. If you are slowing down or coming to a stop, extend your left arm pointed straight down, palm facing backwards. Whenever you pass someone, always use your bell or voice, leaving ample room for both you and the other party to react safely.
Secondly, follow all legal traffic laws in your area. This includes traffic lights, specified biking lanes and all traffic signs like any other motor vehicle. The same laws that apply to cars also apply to bikes. If your city has bike lanes, it is recommended to ride within those parameters. For cities that do not have designated bike lanes, always stay to the right of the lane giving enough distance between you and other traffic. Be aware of all your surroundings and this means using all your senses. Riding with headphones can impede your ability to hear cars and miscommunicate with other road users.
Finally, make yourself visible to others. Use headlights and taillights to brighten the road and alert others of your presence, especially at night or early mornings. If your bike doesn’t come with built-in lights, use a headlamp on your helmet and install LED wheel lights on your bike rims. Wearing bright reflective clothing can also increase your visibility to others. Always assume you may not be seen, especially in the dark. Make eye contact with other cyclists, pedestrians or cars to confirm your presence. Communication is key whether with our body language or external cues such as lights, clothing and sound.
Check out our safety video for a more in-depth demonstration. The rules apply to everyone on the road and are widely practiced in the biking community. Each province and country will have different regulations. If you’re not sure what they are always check your local guidelines. Here are British Columbia’s ebike laws. By following proper bike safety rules, we can make the road safer and more fun for everyone to enjoy! If you’re looking for your next adventure partner check out our selection of electric bikes. #RideENVO