Electric bike sales are growing greatly since their introduction in recent years. So are biking accidents!
Doctors are seeing a combination of head injury, orthopedic injuries and fractures, spine fractures, and road. Here are the facts:
- E-bike riders are more likely to suffer from internal injuries
- E-bike riding injuries are three times more likely to involve a crash with a pedestrian
- E-bikes riders are more likely to suffer from concussionsWhile cycling accidents aren’t exclusive to e-bikes, statistics show more severe cases is growing while on e-bikes. Comparatively, e-bike accident victims have a 17% risk of internal injury. Pedal-bike accident victims, on the other hand, have a 7.5% risk of the same type of injury, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS).
Inexperience of the beginner riders on a very fast-moving vehicles is causing injury. Research shows that it is indeed the speed on which an e-bike travels. The average pedal bicycle will reach around 15 mph, which is significantly slower than the average e-bike. This fact alone seems to indicate that e-bikes are more dangerous. Let’s take a look at three different types of electric bicycles and the speeds at which they travel:
- Class 1 Bikes: Can reach 20 mph and require the rider to pedal
- Class 2 Bikes: Can reach 20 mph and do not require the rider to pedal
- Class 3 Bikes: Can reach 28 mph and do not require the rider to pedal
Finally, the increased weight of an e-bike alone can cause injury. The heavier bike will go much faster, and this may create risk for hitting pedestrians who can’t get out of the way in time, or with motor vehicles, whose drivers do not anticipate a bike moving so fast. There’s also more momentum and the stopping distance will be much greater.
To help prevent accidents, electric bike riders must obey all of the same traffic rules for driving that a car does. Someone riding an e-bike should never ride on the sidewalk, they must ride with the direction of traffic and they must come to a complete stop at stop signs. For protection from injury in the event of an accident, riders should also wear a cycling helmet that is rated for speeds that e-bike travel.
Most electric bike shop owners offer training on their vehicles. It is something every new owner should take advantage of for their own safety and that of others.