An e-bike looks like a traditional bicycle and has pedals and brakes. However, it also has an electric motor to help it reach speeds of up to 28 MPH.
Unfortunately, there is also a dark side to the e-bike trend. In 2021, an Orange County hospital claimed a 500% increase in e-bike accidents compared to 2020.
Recent e-bike accidents throughout California
With e-bike accidents on the rise, various victims and families have reached out to news organizations to make the roads safer for e-bike riders and to inform the public about the necessity for training and information about e-bike usage. Some recent cases include:
- A Carlsbad mom died from injuries sustained after an SUV collided with her e-bike while riding with her 16-month-old daughter.
- A 12-year-old girl died in Pacific Palisades after her e-bike failed to brake while navigating a steep heel. The girl fell from her bike and died from brain injuries at the hospital weeks later.
- An 82-year-old San Diego man suffered injuries after an e-bike rider struck him while walking. The bicyclist, too, suffered injuries.
- A 67-year-old San Francisco man died after plunging from a steep ridge while on an e-bike.
In the case of the 12-year-old girl and the 67-year-old man, both were wearing helmets.
The danger of e-bikes compared to traditional bicycles
Many people use e-bikes similarly to conventional bicycles. They do not receive any extra training to operate them and may not use protective gear.
Traditional bike helmets help reduce the risk of head injuries on a bicycle, but riders may want to consider motorcycle helmets for full protection. While the bike may only reach 28 MPH on flat ground, it can reach much higher speeds on hills.