Injuries from e-bikes on the rise despite safety measures, Dutch organization says

(Photo: Unsplash/Gotrax) electric bike

E-bike cyclists are more prone to injury than traditional cyclists. The report was published by VeiligheidNL, a Dutch organization that focuses on injury prevention.

Despite the finding, the organization admitted that more research was needed to find out the causes of the injuries.

E-bike injuries are on the rise

One of the safest countries for motorcyclists is the Netherlands, as the country has a preponderance of infrastructure created to separate motorcyclists from vehicle traffic.

Bike safety is also taught from an early age, and many cities have enjoyed a bike-centric culture for years.

Still, the report says e-bikers in the country were 1.6 times more likely than regular cyclists to be injured and sent to the emergency room, compared to twice as likely for racing bikes and three times for mountain bikes, according to The edge.

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The percentage of injured e-bike riders was also higher, at 36%, compared to 2016, which was just 19%. E-bike users are generally aged between 12 and 17, and they are particularly at risk of an emergency visit, accounting for 22% of victims compared to just 4% in 2016.

Women aged 55 and over are also vulnerable, accounting for almost half of all e-bike victims, or around 47%.

Overall, the report concludes that the primary culprit for all regular and e-bike related injuries is rider behavior, which accounts for approximately 44% of cases, while road conditions as a cause of injury account for only 32%.

The majority of accidents only affected the e-bike driver. About two-thirds of the 110,000 traffic victims treated in Dutch hospitals in 2021 were cyclists, according to VeiligheidNL. The survey was carried out among runners hospitalized from 2020 to 2021.

Bike sales exploded around the world during the height of the pandemic, bringing new riders to the roads for the first time, and most of them are new to e-bikes.

The Netherlands has more bikes than people, as e-bikes accounted for 52% of all bikes sold in 2021 alone. That’s an increase of 29% in 2016 and 15% in 2021, according to the association. RAI.

More e-bikers explain the rise in e-bike related injuries.

Percentage of injuries related to e-bikes

In 2021, about 582 people died in traffic accidents in the Netherlands, which is considered the lowest level since 2015. That is 207 on ordinary bicycles, 175 on cars and 80 on electric bicycles, according to CBS.

In total, 22 fewer cyclists were killed in traffic accidents in 2021 compared to 2020.

Another alleged reason why the number of injuries has increased lately is that many companies making these e-bikes circumvent the speed limit of 25 km per hour or 15.5 mph imposed by the European Union.

Protected cycle lanes are now congested due to increased bicycle use. Also, the Dutch do not wear helmets when using bicycles, whether traditional or electric.

Even the most vulnerable users like children and the elderly do not wear helmets. The Dutch government is not willing to change it any time soon.

Although the number of injuries on e-bikes is higher, New York City legalized e-bikes in 2020.

Related article: CAKE e-bikes will have plastic fairings, thanks to a new partnership with PaperShell

This article belongs to Tech Times

Written by Sophie Webster

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