The recent injury sustained by celebrity Simon Cowell in an electric bicycle accident once again puts the spotlight on these environmental-friendly transportation vehicles that can reach speeds of up to 30 mph. Cowell — the creator and judge for the America’s Got Talent television show — broke his back on Aug. 8 in a spill while learning to ride his new e-bike on the grounds of his Malibu home.

In the past five years, e-bicycles have grown in popularity in the U.S. They actually are becoming a global phenomenon. But you wonder just how safe are they? What laws can be implemented to assure better safety measures for people who use e-bikes?

Growing in popularity

A report last year in the Injury Prevention journal noted that e-bike injuries were more than three times as likely to involve a crash with a pedestrian compared with scooter or bicycle injuries. Injuries from e-bikes also were more serious.

How do you make an adventure on an e-bike safer? Here are some things to consider:

  • Follow the rules of the road just like traditional bicyclists.
  • Consider wearing a helmet. It just may save you from grave injuries.
  • Considering e-bike collisions with pedestrians, be more alert of your surroundings.
  • Be aware of distracted drivers, many of whom view and use cellphones behind the wheel. In California, cellphone usage behind the wheel is against the law. However, first-time offenders pay a $20 fine and subsequent offenses cost $50. Steeper fines in these situations may make drivers think twice before using a cellphone.

And do not forget to abide by what Cowell tweeted after he had the accident. The caustic celebrity judge noted that it is a good idea to read the owner’s manual before embarking on an e-bike for the first time.