Every week one e-step user hospitalized in Brussels
On average once a week, a user of an E-step ends up in a hospital in Brussels. And of all the users who ended up in the emergency services, none wore a helmet.
This is the conclusion of a study carried out by the Vias traffic institute, in collaboration with the emergency services of various hospitals, a study that has come about now that the e-step may become even more of an alternative to public transport this corona summer.
Not so bad
Accidents with e-steps occur mainly in Brussels, concludes Vias. They happen less often in Wallonia and Flanders. In Brussels, on average, one user of an E-step ends up in the emergency services per week. But in certain busy areas, this can be as much as two or three times a week. What also plays a role is the weather: when the weather is nice, there are more accidents.
“Last year, some fifty steppers ended up in Brussels hospitals, mainly between the ages of 20 and 40,” says Stef Willems of Vias in De Morgen. “Given the increasing popularity, that doesn’t seem to be too bad. Accidents mainly happen in places where there is a lot of traffic, and several road users share the lane.”
Helmet use slightly difficult
What is more striking is that of all the users who reported to the emergency services, no one wore a helmet. Consequently, head injuries and jaw fractures are most common, writes the press agency Belga.
Some have injuries to the lower abdomen due to the collision with the handlebars. Upper limb fractures, such as a wrist fracture, are also fairly common. “But also many broken wrists and arms, dislocated shoulders, and shoulder fractures,” says doctor Thierry Preseau of the CHU Brugmann in Brussels.
“Although wearing a helmet is of utmost importance, it is difficult to make it compulsory,” says Vias. “After all, many use a shared e-step at unforeseen moments to travel quickly through the city center. A helmet is not always available.”
Vias also studied the road code in other countries and saw that only two are requiring to wear a helmet (in Sweden and in France, outside the agglomeration). However, in the Netherlands and England, for example, you are still not allowed to use it on public roads.
Nevertheless, according to Vias, there are measures in place in other countries that we could also introduce here. The prohibition against riding on the footpath in built-up areas is one of them, as well as compelling fluorescent jackets in the dark, just like in France.
Beginners are accident-prone
The study also shows that in the vast majority of accidents, only the user of the e-step is involved. Moreover, the majority of accidents involve an occasional user or someone who is riding an e-step for the first time.
Those who set off on their own e-step are usually well equipped: with helmet or knee, wrist, and elbow protection.