E-bikes Taking the World by Storm, Even in Hawaii
Electric bikes are now in vogue across the world, and Hawaii is no exception. The craze of e-bikes is catching up wildly with people across all age groups in Honolulu, and the sales of e-bikes have quadrupled in Hawaii. In FY 2021, the number of registrations for e-bikes was 1424, which increased to a whopping 4943 in FY 2022. As of today, the total registrations for e-bikes for 2023 are 7811, and this number is only set to rise as the year comes to an end. Justin Vinoya, the supervisor at the Bike Factory, states that the store sells at least one bike every day. Globally, e-bikes have jumped up by 240% over a 12-month period as of 2021.
What Is An E-Bike?
Electric bikes (e-bikes) are like the bicycles you know today but equipped with a battery-powered assist that comes when the user pedals. In some cases, there is even a throttle on the bike to propel the user forward. Small motors engage and give the rider a boost to help them get over rough terrain or a hill. It is all the rage with those who want to bike more for leisure as opposed to exercise. E-bikes can also propel riders faster – around 20 to 28 piles per hour, depending on the bike. The assist that a rider gets can also be controlled on some models, allowing the user to choose an ‘eco’ mode (less help) or a ‘turbo’ mode (more help), which is a huge win for many bike riders.
E-Bikers who have purchased these e-bikes can’t get enough of how cool, luxurious, and eco-friendly they are. These e-bikes are fast, too, and help e-bikers keep up with the traffic on busy streets. Bikers riding e-bikes, however, tend to ride them rashly and without helmets, making them a threat on roads. Not only are pedestrians and other bikers scared of these rash drivers, but speeding also poses a risk to their own lives. This also explains why hospitals are seeing increased injuries related to e-bikes.
The executive director of the Hawaii Bicycling League, Travis Counsell, said that if people don’t follow the rules and don’t know how to ride their bikes properly, they could be dangerous to themselves and everyone around them. “When people might not know how to control [e-bikes] or understand how much power they have, could really find themselves in situations where it would be unsafe,” Counsell further added.
Rick Bruno, President of Queens Medical Center, said they’d noted a significant rise in the number of injuries caused due to e-bikes. The Centre has begun tracking e-bike-related injuries since last year, and they see at least a couple of cases every month. Considering the current scenario, unfortunately, this number is only expected to rise. The injuries reported are very similar to bicycle injuries – they are mostly orthopedic, but at times, patients are coming in with severe head injuries too.
Counsell added that basic safety measures, such as wearing a helmet, can protect riders from severe head injuries. Apart from this, they also need to be mindful of their surroundings and take due care to follow the rules to ensure the safety of others. He stated that the Hawaii Bicycling League has joined hands with lawmakers to ensure proper and systematic regulation of e-bikes. This would help reduce the number of accidents and injuries reported due to rash e-bikers.
Riding responsibly is the need of the hour – whether it’s a car or an e-bike, every person needs to take due care of the vehicle they are using and ensure no damage or injuries are caused to others on the road. In case of injuries or damage due to e-bikes, you can always consult a Honolulu personal injury attorney to know more about damage claims and compensation in such cases.