Electric bicycle accidents increase by 43%
The Belgian Institute for Road Safety (IBSR/BIVV) counted 730 crashes implicating e-bicycles against 510 in 2015. “This 43% increase has to be put into perspective with the keen interest for this new way of transport” says the IBSR/BIVV. In 2016, Belgians have bought 475.000 electric bicycles from bike dealers, representing 39,2% of bicycle sale or nearly 2 out of 5.
Last year 8 people died on the spot in an electric bike accident and some – yet uncounted – died later at the hospital. “The majorly of victims are women (58%) and people aged 65 or more (42%)” adds Benoit Godard, IBSR/BIVV spokesperson. In normal cycling accidents, only 37% of women and of 13% seniors are involved.
That difference can be explained by the augmented manoeuvring difficulty of an e-bicycle and also by the fact that car drivers underestimate the speed of those bicycles. Furthermore, an electric bicycle travels an average of 31 km per week against 18 km/week for a conventional bike.
With 711 wounded by e-bike accidents Flanders precedes by far Brussels (9) and Wallonia (10). Injuries are also more important than in conventional bicycle accidents, mostly due to the older age of cyclists and the higher speeds. Finally, contrary to electric bicycles, the conventional bicycle accident rate has been decreasing between 2015 (8.810) and 2016 (8.781).
10 recommendations for the e-biker
- Before going on the road, test the electric bicycle
- Check that the battery is fully charged and carry the charger
- Check tyre pressure
- Don’t forget the emergency number
- Start at slow speed with the smallest assistance
- Due to the higher speed, keep bigger distances
- Electric bicycles are less manoeuvrable, so keep distances
- Be aware that other road users might underestimate your speed
- If you carry the bicycle on a car, check the bike rack
- If you travel with a group, let e-bicycles drive in the last position