Why Negligent Drivers Cause Electric Bike Collisions in Norfolk and Virginia Beach

E-Bicycle Used on the RoadE-bicycles, also known as electric bicycles, are a new and very popular mode of transportation in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. However, as e-bikes have become more prevalent on our roads, e-bicycle accidents have also increased.

If you have been injured in an e-bicycle crash in Virginia, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries if a negligent driver caused the collision. An experienced car accident lawyer will explain your rights and can pursue your claim with the motorist’s insurance company so that you receive the maximum recovery in your settlement.

Virginia’s Electric Bicycle Laws

In Virginia, an e-bicycle is treated more like a bicycle than a motor vehicle and may be ridden wherever bikes are allowed. Under our laws, an electric bike has three or fewer wheels and is equipped with pedals, a seat, and an electric motor with up to 750 watts of power. E-bikes are classified into three categories based on their maximum speed and power output in our state:

  • Class 1. E-bikes equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and does not assist when the bicycle is at a speed of 20 miles per hour (mph) are considered Class 1 e-bikes.
  • Class 2. A Class 2 e-bike is equipped with a motor that can be used to propel the bicycle without pedaling, but the motor no longer assists when the bicycle reaches a speed of 20 mph.
  • Class 3. E-bikes equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and the motor ceases to assist when the bicycle reaches a speed of 28 mph are considered Class 3 e-bicycles.

How Negligent Motorists Cause E-Bike Collisions

Motorists must obey the same Virginia traffic laws when sharing the road with e-bicycle riders as they would for bicyclists. Here are common ways at-fault drivers cause tragic e-bike collisions:

  • Speeding. Drivers driving above the posted speed limits or driving too fast for road conditions may not have enough time to stop or avoid colliding with an e-biker. Speeding can also increase the severity of the injuries sustained by the e-biker because the force of impact is greater.
  • Distracted driving. Motorists who are engaged in distracted driving by texting, talking on the phone, adjusting the radio, or engaging in other distracting activities while driving may not notice a smaller e-biker on the road before it is too late to avoid causing an e-bicycle accident.
  • Drunk driving. Motorists under the influence of alcohol or drugs can have impaired judgment, reduced reaction times, and reduced motor skills, increasing the risk of colliding with an e-biker. Driving while intoxicated is illegal and can also cause electric bicycle victims to suffer catastrophic injuries or death.
  • Failure to obey traffic laws. Motorists who fail to obey traffic laws, such as running red lights, failing to yield the right of way, or making illegal turns, can cause crashes with e-bikers following the rules of the road.