Why e-bike injuries can be so serious

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | bicycle accidents, Bicycle Safety, Fort Collins, Greeley, Injuries, Longmont, Loveland, serious injuries/wrongful death

Electric bikes (e-bikes) are becoming increasingly popular for those who use bikes to commute to and from work and/or to do their work, and those who ride them for exercise, competition and camaraderie. They’re especially popular because they let people ride faster (on some bikes up to nearly 30 miles per hour) and on more challenging roads than they can on regular bikes.

E-bikes, however, carry added risks for riders who are involved in collisions. Because they can go at higher speeds than regular bikes and are heavier, riders are at a risk of suffering more serious injuries than they otherwise might. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the number of people treated in the hospital for e-bike injuries rose from 3,500 to 24,400 between 2017 and 2022. Over half of the total injuries reported in that period were in 2022.

Internal and external injuries

The CPSC also noted that e-bicyclists are more likely to suffer internal injuries as well as orthopedic injuries and spinal injuries than other cyclists. The usual injuries one might expect such as head injuries, lacerations, fractures and road rash are typically more serious for those on e-bikes as well. As one trauma surgeon explains, that’s because “more momentum and the stopping distance will be much greater.”

Many e-bike collisions involve pedestrians, who can suffer catastrophic injuries if hit by an e-bike. However, the most serious collisions for e-bicyclists are the ones involving a four-wheeled motor vehicles. E-bicyclists may be more likely to share the road with motor vehicles than if they had a traditional bike because e-bikes let them travel at higher speeds and handle Colorado’s steep, narrow mountain roads. This puts them in close proximity to cars, SUVs and RVs. Further, those who use their e-bikes to deliver anything from groceries to meals to documents are likely to be maneuvering through congested city and suburban traffic.

E-bike injuries that are caused by at-fault drivers can require extensive, specialized care – both in the immediate aftermath of the collision and over a much longer term. Some injuries can be permanent and properly calculating the full extent of the injured victim’s damages can be complicated. That’s why it’s crucial not to agree to any settlement until seeking out experienced legal guidance. Getting the maximum possible compensation can be crucial to covering the cost of care, rehabilitation, lost earnings and permanent impairment. Contact VanMeveren Law Group for a no-cost case evaluation at www.vanmeverenlaw.com or 970-495-9741.