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Ebikes Take Off in Vancouver as Car Drivers Learn to Share the Road

Sales for electric bicycles, or ebikes, continue to soar throughout the Lower Mainland, as reported by a news story in the Vancouver Sun. And with more ebike riders comes a greater need for sharing the road among motorists and bicyclists alike.

As explained by the manufacturers, ebikes are like regular bicycles but with electric-powered motors for pedalling assistance that can be utilized during uphill climbs. In many models, the electric engines, fuelled by lithium batteries, can travel without a recharge for up to 130 km on exclusively low speeds and up to 80 km on average in real-world settings. Many of the higher-end ebikes feature up to 500 watts of power. Maximum speeds can be as high as 32 km/hour.

And the trend of more ebikes on the road appears to only be growing.

A rare sight in previous years, ebikes have seen their sales grow from between 100-500% in the past two years alone. North American sales for 2016 are expected to hit 300,000.

But with more ebikes on the road, the inevitable culture clash between cars, bikes and ebikes will only intensify with them, as evidenced by an earlier report from 2014.

Accidents and personal injuries resulting from incidents between ebikes and other vehicles, such as cars and traditional bicycles, will likely increase before levelling off, as drivers and users alike acclimatize to the new technology.

Additionally, government and insurance regulations need to catch up as well. ICBC only recently differentiated between ebikes and scooters for classification reasons.

The slow response from ICBC coupled with the blossoming confusion between drivers on the road as they interact with ecyclists could lead to hostile and dangerous environments on Vancouver streets, causing injuries to ecyclists and traditional bicyclists alike.

If you ever become injured while riding an ebike, the last thing you need is to not have your injury compensation put in doubt due to the lack of regulatory insurance rules and driving laws that specifically deal with ebikes. Trust the expertise of an established personal-injury lawyer in Vancouver to give you peace of mind.

Contact BLW Lawyers today for a free consultation. Call us at 604-689-3883 or email us at info@BLWlawyers.com for more information.

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