| Read Time: 4 minutes | Personal Injury
Laws Pertaining to E-Bike Accidents in NYC

If you live in New York City, you’re likely familiar with the many e-bikes zipping around the city streets. Electric bikes, or e-bikes, have become an increasingly popular mode of transportation in recent years. However, with the rise in popularity of e-bike use comes the need for updated laws and regulations to keep both riders and pedestrians safe. Knowing the laws and what to do is important if you’re involved in a New York City e-bike accident. Reach out to speak with a personal injury lawyer today!

NYC E-Bike Laws

If you’re considering riding an e-bike in New York City, there are a few laws you need to be aware of. In general, New York law classifies e-bikes as “motorized bicycles.” They fall under three categories:  

  • Class 1: Electric bike, pedal assist, with a maximum allowed speed of 20 mph;
  • Class 2: Electric bike, throttle up to 20 mph, operable pedals, with a maximum allowed speed of 20 mph; and 
  • Class 3: Electric bike, throttle up to 25 mph, operable pedals. 

Here are a few key NYC laws you should know:

  • You cannot operate an e-bike on an NYC sidewalk. You can operate all three categories of e-bikes on bike lanes and streets that have speed limits no greater than 30 mph. 
  • E-bikes are limited to 20 mph unless they are Class 3 e-bikes with a maximum allotted speed of 25 mph. You cannot travel faster than these speeds, even if your e-bike can go faster. 
  • E-bikes are also not allowed in some New York City parks. E-bikes in any area administered by NYC Parks must comply with applicable NYC Parks rules. 
  • You must be 16 or older to ride an e-bike in New York City. 
  • Helmets are strongly recommended but only required by law if you are under 18 or the bike can travel faster than 20 mph. Someone who is a delivery cyclist must also wear a helmet. 

It’s important to note that NYC has its own regulations regarding e-bikes. If you are involved in an accident with an e-bike in another part of New York, you’ll need to confirm the laws for that city. 

Common Causes of E-Bike Accidents

E-bike accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. Some common causes of e-bike accidents include the following.

Distracted Riding

Just like driving a vehicle, riders must pay attention to their surroundings. Texting and riding, changing songs, and talking on the phone can cause a rider to become distracted.


E-bikes can travel at high speeds. Riders may be tempted to go faster than they should, especially in crowded areas, which can lead to devastating accidents., 


Delivery drivers on e-bikes are under pressure to make their deliveries quickly. That can lead to reckless riding, such as weaving in and out of traffic or running stop signs and red lights.

Lack of Experience

Many who ride e-bikes have never ridden a bike, let alone an electric bike. This lack of experience can lead to accidents, particularly if the rider doesn’t understand how to control the bike properly.

Unfamiliarity with NYC

Many of these e-bikes are available for rent on the city streets. Tourists who want to explore may be unfamiliar with the city and cause an accident. 

Mechanical Failure

Like any vehicle or regular bicycle, e-bikes can experience mechanical failure. For example, if the brakes fail, the rider may not be able to stop the bike in time to avoid an accident.

How to Recover Compensation in NYC E-Bike Accidents

If someone else’s actions caused your injuries in a New York City e-bike accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Actions you take immediately following the accident can impact your potential settlement amount. If you’re in an accident resulting in injuries, you must contact the police to respond. The police report can be important evidence in your subsequent personal injury claim.

Be sure to exchange contact information with all involved parties. If any witnesses stop, be sure to get their contact information as well. Take photos of the scene, including damage, skid marks, debris, and anything else that could be important to your case. 

If you don’t require an ambulance to the hospital, you should still see a doctor right away. You could have internal injuries that are not outwardly visible. 

It’s best to contact an experienced NYC e-bike accident lawyer as soon as possible. Pursuing a claim can be complicated, and you need an experienced legal advocate on your side. 

Why You Need to Hire a New York City E-Bike Accident Lawyer

E-bikes have specialized rules and regulations that apply. You need a lawyer who understands these laws and how to pursue compensation in these types of cases. When you hire an e-bike lawyer at Glugeth & Pierguidi, P.C., we know what it takes to build a solid case for damages. We can help you navigate the challenging legal process and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. We will gather evidence, negotiate with the other party’s insurance company, and file a lawsuit on your behalf if necessary. 

Who Is Liable for E-bike Accidents?

Determining liability in an e-bike accident can be a complex process. In general, the person or entity responsible for the accident will be held liable for any injuries or damages that result. Liable parties will depend on your individual case’s circumstances. Some of the most common responsible parties include the e-bike rider, the company that employs the rider, the e-bike rental company, or even the e-bike manufacturer

Why E-bikes Can be Dangerous

E-bikes can be dangerous for a variety of reasons. For one, e-bikes can travel faster than traditional bicycles. If someone loses control of the bike or collides with a pedestrian, the accident could result in more severe injuries than you might see with a traditional bicycle. Riders who are in a rush delivering items may be darting in and out of traffic, ignoring traffic signals. These actions, combined with the speed of the e-bike, create a dangerous combination. People who ride these e-bikes may not be experienced with how they work or what the rules are in NYC. This risk is especially dangerous in crowded areas of the city where there is a lot of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. 

Contact a New York City E-Bike Lawyer 

Don’t leave your case to chance if you suffered injuries in a New York City e-bike accident. The lawyers at Glugeth & Pierguidi, P.C., stand ready to help. We have years of experience representing injured victims in New York City. We are familiar with the city-specific laws on e-bikes and can help you build a strong case for compensation. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation to learn more.

Author Photo

David Pierguidi and Jared Glugeth understand how hard it may be for you and your family following an accident resulting from someone’s negligent actions. Get the medical treatment you need right away and then call our law firm at any time of day for answers to your questions.

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