Hospitals in Orange County are reporting a 500% increase in e-bike accidents compared to this time last year, according to a CBS Los Angeles news analysis.
Between January and August 2020, Providence Mission Hospital Mission Viejo treated 11 electric bike trauma patients. During the same period this year, that number surged to 70. Also, in 2020, only one of the hospital’s e-bike accident patients was a child. In 2021, that number jumped to 22.
Severe E-bike Accidents and Injuries Reported
CBS talked to the mother of a 15-year-old who was injured in an e-bike accident. She said the first thing he remembered after the crash was seeing his femur wrapped around the handlebar. He had snapped his femur in half after he was coming down a hill in San Clemente, lost control, and collided with a street sign. He was rushed into surgery at Mission Hospital. Doctors inserted a titanium rod in his hip and screws to stabilize the bone, his mother said.
Trauma surgeons at Mission Hospital say the most common injuries from e-bike accidents are broken bones, arms, and legs followed by head injuries and internal organ trauma. The hospital also reports that about 45% of its e-bike accident patients were not wearing helmets and the majority had severe injuries. Just in the last few weeks, the hospital saw two “high-grade liver injuries” in teens who were riding e-bikes.
Why Are E-Bikes Dangerous?
E-bikes can travel up to 28 mph. Because they are extremely convenient to travel short distances, safety experts say more people are using them, but they are doing so without proper training on how to safely use them or how to follow the rules of the road. There have been fatalities, too.
In September, a 36-year-old Orange County mom died and her two young children were seriously injured when she crashed an e-bike on a trail in San Juan Capistrano. A couple of weeks before that incident, a former Corona Del Mar High School basketball coach suffered a severe head injury in an e-bike accident and died from those injuries just days later.
How Can You Stay Safe?
Experts warn that e-bikes are not like regular bicycles that anyone can operate. It requires education and training. They say everyone who operates an e-bike should wear a helmet because of the high risk of suffering traumatic brain injuries. Some experts say it would be a good idea to consider wearing a motorcycle helmet, which offers more protection than a regular bike helmet.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an e-bike accident due to the actions of a negligent motorist, a dangerous roadway, or a defective e-bike, it is important that you reach out to an experienced e-bike injury lawyer who can help you seek and obtain maximum compensation for your losses.