• How Might Electric Motorcycles Make Riders Less Safe?

    harley-davidson - livewire - electric motorcycleAs the world becomes more and more energy efficient and the government continues to offer incentives to taxpayers who purchase green technology, there’s a new electric-powered kid on the block, and it’s like nothing else we’ve seen before: the electric motorcycle. Though motorcycle enthusiasts might look askance at the idea of a battery-powered ride, Zero Motorcycles has already introduced a sport bike that runs on lithium-ion batteries, and there’s word that Harley Davidson will be introducing its first entry into the market in the next year-and-a-half. The company’s CEO has set forth a goal of being the world leader in the electric motorcycle market. As traditional bikers begin to get used to the idea of bikes without internal combustion engines, one question has been asked repeatedly: will the electric motorcycles be less safe, or safer?

    The risk of motorcycle crashes is one of the main reasons that people don’t purchase a bike. Though electric motorcycles may sound safer, there is good reason to believe that there are likely to be more motorcycle crashes with the new technology than has previously been true. The new model bikes are engineered to accelerate from 0 to 60 in just four seconds, so power is not likely to be a problem. What is causing concern, however, is the extreme silence of the bike’s operating system. Where traditional motorcycles have loud engines and exhaust systems that boost the awareness of the drivers with whom bikers share the road, the electric motorcycles make only a soft electric whirring sound: a similar issue has led electric bikes in China to be referred to as “the silent killer,” as pedestrians cross streets in front of motorbikes that they don’t hear.

    The engineers who have created electric motorcycles argue that motorcycle crashes are not more likely, as the angle of the exhaust pipe and the noise generated by the speed of the bike will be enough to ensure that other motorists are aware of motorcyclists. Whether the bike makes noise or not, motorists have a duty to drive with care and be mindful of those around them. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle crash that was caused by another driver’s negligence, the issue is not what type of bike you were riding – it was the lack of attention paid. To set up an appointment to discuss your case, contact our offices today.

     

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