E-bicycles are becoming an increasingly popular means of transportation in Roswell and Southeast New Mexico. Unfortunately, electric bike accidents are also increasing and can cause victims to suffer serious injuries or death. If you or a family member were injured in an e-bike crash, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries under New Mexico law.
New Mexico E-Bike Laws
Unlike some states, New Mexico does not classify electric or have special rules regarding their use on our roads. They are defined as bicycles in our state, and there is no restriction on their motor power or throttle.
An e-bicycle rider is not required to obtain a license or registration of their bike. Our state also has no restriction on the age of an e-bicycle rider. However, riders under 14 years old must wear a helmet when riding on a roadway.
Riders of e-bicycles are required to follow the same rules of the road as bike riders. They are permitted to be ridden on roadways, bike paths, and bike lanes.
How E-Bicycle Riders Cause Accidents
E-bike riders are expected to follow the same traffic laws in New Mexico as drivers of motor vehicles and traditional bicycle riders. Unfortunately, riders of e-bicycles cause crashes with autos, pedestrians, and bike riders. Some of the unique dangers of e-bicycles that lead to collisions include:
- Battery fires. Unfortunately, an e-bike’s battery can catch on fire while the bicycle is being ridden, especially if the manufacturer did not manufacture the battery. The rider could cause a wreck with nearby pedestrians, bike riders, or motorists when trying to deal with a sudden fire and can also suffer severe injuries due to the blaze.
- Excessive acceleration. E-bike riders who use too much throttle when accelerating after a stop can lose control of their bike and cause an accident. Because the e-bike is traveling at a relatively slow speed, it may not cause much damage to a much larger motor vehicle. However, pedestrians and bicycle riders can suffer serious injuries because their bodies have little protection from the larger e-bike.
- Failure to obey traffic laws. Many electric bicycle accidents are caused by negligent riders who disobey New Mexico’s traffic laws.
- E-bike defects. A defective e-bicycle part, such as the brakes or throttle, can cause the rider to lose control of the bike. If a victim suffers injuries, they may have a product liability claim against the parts and e-bicycle manufacturer.
How Drivers Cause Collisions With E-Bicycle Riders
Drivers of autos, motorcycles, and trucks can also cause dangerous accidents with e-bike riders. Common ways they cause crashes include:
- Speeding. When a motorist is speeding, they may not have sufficient time to slow down or stop to avoid colliding with an e-bike. The e-bicycle rider is more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries or death due to the greater force of impact when a driver is speeding.
- Distracted driving. When a driver is eating and drinking, fiddling with instrument controls, talking on a cellphone, or texting, their eyes and minds are not on the road and their driving. They could fail to see a nearby e-bicycle before it is too late to avoid a collision.
- Intoxication. Motorists intoxicated due to drug or alcohol use will have reduced judgment, reaction time, and vision. In addition, they are more likely to engage in reckless driving, weave between lanes, or tailgate an e-bicycle.
- Failing to obey traffic laws. Drivers are required to obey all traffic laws in New Mexico and share the road with e-bicycle riders. When they fail to yield the right of way, turn into the path of an e-bike, or violate other traffic rules, they can face liability if the e-bicycle rider suffers injuries or is killed.
Were you injured in an e-bike collision in Roswell or Southeast New Mexico? Our experienced car accident lawyers are here to help pedestrians, bicycle riders, e-bike riders, and motorists injured in a crash. To learn more about how we can assist you and your rights, call our Roswell office at 575-300-4000 or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today.