E-Bike Injuries Skyrocket, With 1 In 10 Requiring Hospitalization

February 28, 2024 in News by RBN Staff

source:  zerohedge


WEDNESDAY, FEB 28, 2024 – 06:20 AM

Authored by Amie Dahnke via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Over 45,000 Americans were injured as a result of e-bike injuries between 2017 and 2022, indicating a 30-fold rise in the number of injuries caused by the popular mode of transportation. Nearly one in 10 of those injuries required hospitalization.

(Stefano Rellandini/Reuters)

The data come from a new study published in JAMA Surgery, highlighting the importance of adhering to manufacturer safety standards and municipal rules governing e-bikes.

According to the research, health care associated with e-bike injuries has soared in the United States, a trend that started in the early 2000s as e-bikes became more popular and accessible to purchase. According to Statista, by 2022, e-bikes accounted for 4 percent of the bike market in the United States, up from 0.06 percent in 2015.

The study looked at data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, a database providing estimates of patients with injuries requiring emergency medical attention. The research team found that, between 2017 and 2022, the number of injuries rose from 751 to 23,493—over a 108 percent annual increase.

Men were those most often injured, receiving between 69 percent and 79 percent of the injuries throughout the five years. Injuries were fairly evenly distributed among age groups, with 18- to 34-year-olds averaging between 30 percent and 46 percent of the injuries; 35- to 54-year-olds averaging between 11 percent and 40 percent of injuries; and those over 55 averaging between 17 percent and 20 percent of the injuries. In 2017, individuals between 18 and 34 comprised 63 percent of all reported e-bike injuries.

The types of injuries reported also varied, with no specific injury dominating. Fractures and dislocations were the most common injury, averaging between 20 percent and 38 percent. Head injuries accounted for between 22 percent and 36 percent of injuries, and injuries to the upper extremities ranged between 23 percent and 36 percent.

The severity of injuries also increased over the years, with more patients requiring hospitalization. Between 2017 and 2022, the data indicated a 43-fold increase in hospitalizations.

The data indicated helmet use varied from year to year. About 50 percent of e-bike riders wore helmets in 2017. Use peaked at 62 percent in 2019 and 2020 before dropping to 36 percent in 2022. The research team noted that the increase in head injuries—which was at its lowest in 2017—is likely due to a decreased use of helmets. The risk of receiving a head injury was 1.9 times higher for riders who did not wear a helmet. The team found, however, that wearing a helmet was uncommon. “Only 44 percent of injured e-bicyclists wore helmets, with proportionally fewer wearing helmets each year,” the study authors reported, adding that “although helmet use by e-bicyclists varies worldwide, Swiss studies report helmet use as high as 69 percent.”

State Regulations Attempt to Prevent Injuries

States have worked to adopt laws regulating e-bike use throughout the United States. Much of the legislation focuses on how to classify the e-bike, determining whether it is a scooter, moped, or traditional bike. That classification typically determines who can ride e-bikes and where. For example, 36 states have three-class systems for e-bikes. These classes indicate the varying types of e-bikes available on the market, from road bikes and cruisers to those better suited for mountain biking. The reasoning behind these laws and classifications is that placing the right bike on a suitable surface helps keep people safer and helps avoid further injury.