JUMP Bikes (a company owned by Uber) has launched a new bike-share program in Providence, RI. These electric, pedal-assisted bikes are set up all over the capitol city from Federal Hill to Thayer St.. While this is a unique and enjoyable way for folks to get around the city, riders and drivers on the road alike need to practice safe habits to avoid auto-pedestrian and auto-bicycle accidents. Distracted driving on the part of surrounding driver or the riders themselves could have tragic consequences.

How Does It Work?

Users can rent the bikes through either the Uber or JUMP mobile apps. Rides cost $2 for every 30 minutes and then 7 cents per minute after that. When the rider is finished, the bike can be parked and left anywhere within the service area. The program is funded by a $400,000 federal grant and sponsored by Tufts Health Plan and Lifespan.

An electric, pedal-assisted bicycle or “pedelec” refers to an e-bike where the pedal-assist electric drive system is limited to a decent but not excessive top speed, and where its motor is relatively low-powered. Pedelecs are legally classed as bicycles rather than low-powered motorcycles or mopeds.

Here are a few safety tips from the Jump, Inc. website:

  • Always wear a helmet
  • Always yield to pedestrians
  • Ride in the direction of traffic
  • Make sure to stop at both red lights, and stop signs.
  • Always brake early, gradually, and use both brakes at the same time

Tips For Drivers To Avoid Auto-Bicycle Accidents

While these e-bikes may be a wonderful upgrade for locals and tourists, as drivers we’ll need to be more vigilant and less distracted to avoid auto-bicycle car accidents with these less experienced bicyclists around town. Here are some tips:

Know Bicyclists’ Rights – Bicycles on the roadway are considered vehicles, have the same rights and responsibilities as motorist, and are subject to many of the same rules and regulations. It’s a good idea as both a bicyclist and motorist to be educated on Rhode Island Bicycle Laws.

Bicyclists Are Vulnerable – Your average car weighs around 2 tons, while your average bicycle weighs 20 pounds. It doesn’t take a professor in mathematics to see that in the event of a collision, the bicyclist will most likely be the one to come away with severe, sometimes life threatening injuries. 

Watch That Right Turn – The “right cross” is possibly the most common cause of auto-bicycle accidents. A cyclist may be a little behind and to the right of you, and may be planning to ride straight ahead. If you don’t signal your right turn, you could wind up colliding, with the point of contact somewhere on your car’s right side. If you are trying to figure out if a nearby cyclist is planning to turn right, look for their raised left hand in a squared position, or an extended right hand.

Careful With That Door – Cyclists are terrified of being “doored.” Imagine a rider pedaling along next to a row of parked cars. Suddenly, a driver flings her door open. The impact can send the cyclist flying, and many riders have died when they’ve been thrown into traffic.

Contact An Experience Massachusetts & Rhode Island Personal Injury Accident Attorney 

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an auto-bicycle accident due to the negligence of a distracted driver please contact The Law Office of Dussault & Zatir to speak with one of our experienced attorneys. We’ll help you to get the compensation that you deserve.

*The above is not to be considered as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws which apply may differ from state to state.