Scripties UMCG - Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
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Morbidity and mortality following a bicycle accident: comparison of e-bike and conventional bicycle accidents

(2016) Lefarth, T.L.

In the last years e-bikes use in the Netherlands increased exponentially, with to date more than 1.5 million e-bikes in use. There is little information about e-bike safety, and none concerning e-bike safety under Dutch traffic circumstances. The aim of this study was to evaluate possible differences in morbidity and mortality following e-bike accidents compared to conventional bicycle accidents.
Data concerning bicycle accidents of 443 conventional bicyclists and 107 e-bike users was gathered. Conventional bicyclists were matched to e-bike users 1-on-1, based on age, gender and occurrence of comorbidity. Descriptive statistics, Chi-square tests, t-tests and logistic regression analysis were employed to analyze differences in mortality and morbidity.
E-bike users (22.4%) suffered from polytrauma significantly more frequent than conventional bicyclists (11.2%). Injury severity was significantly higher following e-bike related accidents (mean ISS 10.1) compared to conventional bicycle accidents (mean ISS 6.6). There were no differences in mortality between e-bike users (3.7%) and conventional bicyclists (3.7%). Head injury was significantly more severe in e-bike users (mean AIS head 3.1) than in conventional bicyclists (mean AIS head 2.5).
E-bike users were at a greater risk of polytrauma and suffered from graver injuries compared to conventional bicyclists. Possible safety benefits of helmet use for e-bike users in the Netherlands should be a focus for future research because e-bike users were at a greater risk of severe head injury than conventional bicyclists.

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