Cycling has long been popular in California, and the invention of e-bikes has made it even more so. Unlike traditional bicycles, e-bikes have motors inside them that make them go further than a traditional bike would while requiring less effort from the rider. Typically, new technologies make things safer, but this is not always the case, and research suggests that e-bikes may actually be less safe than traditional bicycles.
Per People Powered Movement, the number of people using e-bikes skyrocketed in recent years as health concerns kept many commuters from using public transportation. In fact, the number of people using e-bikes increased nine times over in early 2020.
How injury rates compare among regular and e-bike users
Researchers are still gathering data to determine just how traditional bicycles and e-bikes differ when it comes to safety. However, studies show that riders of traditional bikes face a 7.5% risk of suffering an internal injury in a bicycle crash. E-bike users, meanwhile, face a heightened, 17% chance of suffering an internal injury in a bike wreck. This may be due in part to the fact that e-bikes tend to travel at faster speeds than traditional, human-powered bicycles.
What risks e-bike riders face
A recent study shined a spotlight on some of the biggest risks e-bike riders face when traveling. E-bike riders are three times as likely as traditional bike users to suffer an injury in a wreck involving a pedestrian. They also face a higher risk of experiencing a concussion than traditional bicycle riders.
Studies also indicate that e-bikes tend to have more defects than standard bicycles, which further compounds injury risks for riders.