E-bikes not more dangerous but elderly are more at risk

Electric bikes are not more dangerous than ordinary bikes although the elderly are more at risk of an accident, the Telegraaf reported on Tuesday, quoting figures from road safety organisation VeiligheidNL.

The group used data on bike accidents from hospital accident and emergency departments to look at the risk of using e-bikes, on behalf of the transport ministry.

‘I can see how this is surprising,’ researcher Paul Schepers told the paper. ‘Four years ago I did the same research and then the conclusion was that people riding electric bikes were at greater risk than those who had to pedal.

‘We thought the weight of the bikes led to more accidents. But we have new figures now and they tell us that this isn’t the case if you compare the number of accidents and factor in age, frequency and distance,’ he told the Telegraaf.




E-bike users still have a greater risk of ending up at the accident and emergency department, said Schepers, but that is down to age and the number of kilometres they travel.

In particular, older cyclists are more likely to struggle with getting on and off their bikes and e-bikes for the elderly need to be designed so that people can reach the ground with their feet, Schepers said.

The number of cyclists killed on the Dutch roads outstripped the number of people killed in cars for the first time last year, according to figures from the national statistics office CBS.

The over-65s account for two-thirds of deaths among cyclists, and e-bikes were involved in one in four bike accidents.


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