The City of San Marcos, California, emphasizes that electric bicycles, or e-bikes for short, have become “more popular than ever and allow people of many ages and abilities to enjoy cycling with assistance from an electric motor.” Indeed, e-bikes have become so popular that many Southern California cities have instituted specific rules concerning e-bikes, including where and how they can be used. Yet as e-bikes gain in popularity throughout California and the country, emergency departments are also seeing increasingly more injuries from e-bike accidents.
While many Californians and visitors to the state have been reading about potential e-bike dangers for a few years now, are e-bikes actually much more dangerous than we thought? According to an article in Fortune, trauma specialists are concerned that “we’re on the front edge of a new order of danger on both bike paths and roadways.” What do you need to know about recent assessments of e-bike safety risks? Our San Marcos injury attorneys can say more.
E-Bike Injuries Increase Alongside Rise in Sales
Data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) suggests that e-bike sales rose significantly between 2017 and 2021, and it is likely that the pattern has continued from 2021 through 2023. As sales numbers have increased, so have injury reports, according to Fortune. Indeed, trauma specialists report that they are seeing more patients with significant accident-related injuries, and some of them may not even be accurately reported as e-bike injuries. Accordingly, the injury rates could be even worse than the numbers recorded. In 2021 alone, US sales of e-bikes reached about 900,000, which is “a near doubling of sales from just one year earlier.”
What are those recorded numbers? Between 2017 and 2021, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) identified 53 deaths from e-bike accidents and hundreds more nonfatal injuries. Anecdotally, motorists report collisions or near-collisions with speeding e-bikes, and e-bike riders show up in emergency departments with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), severe fractures to arms and legs, spinal injuries, and serious road rash. As the article suggests, the “statistics will likely continue to balloon” concerning e-bike sales and accompanying injuries.
Liability for E-Bike Accidents
After an e-bike accident, it is essential to find out about liability. In other words, who is responsible for injuries in an e-bike accident? The answer to that question will depend upon the circumstances of the accident.
In many cases, speeding is a primary cause of e-bike collisions with motor vehicles. According to Fortune, e-bike riders can ride through intersections at speeds that they would be unlikely to “ever reach on a conventional bicycle.” Yet motorists also play a role in these crashes as a result of distracted driving, as well as aggressive driving and intoxicated driving. The best way to determine liability after an e-bike accident and to seek compensation is to have an attorney evaluate your case.
Contact a San Marcos E-Bike Accident and Injury Lawyer Today
California has become a hot spot for e-bikes, and residents and visitors to the state alike are buying and renting e-bikes for transportation and recreation. Yet, as the facts in the Fortune article underscore, e-bikes can be extremely dangerous and are frequently involved in severe and fatal accidents. If you or someone you love suffered a serious injury in an e-bike accident, you should discuss your options with a San Marcos personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about how we can assist you.
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