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Southwest Florida Injury Lawyer on E-Bike Injuries vs. Conventional Bicycle Injuries

E-bike-Pic-300x201Electric bicycles, aka “e-bikes,” have become incredibly popular here in the Sunshine State. If you’re unfamiliar, these are pedal-operated bicycles equipped with an electric bike motor to assist. U.S. sales of e-bikes topped $1.3 billion in 2022, and Floridians love them, as they’re allowed on most roads, bike paths, and trails where traditional bikes can operate.

That said, a Key West injury lawyer can tell you their introduction hasn’t been a super-smooth ride. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that micromobility device injuries treated at hospital emergency rooms nationwide have increased 23 percent every year since 2017. (This includes not only e-bike injuries, but those involving hoverboards and e-scooters.)

But such increases do make sense for the simple fact that these devices didn’t even exist a few years ago. The risks they pose are worth knowing, but none of it really changes the fact that the bigger safety threats on South Florida roads are:

  • Infrastructure that wasn’t designed to safely accommodate alternative modes of transportation (i.e., wide roads, high speed limits, no sidewalks, etc.).
  • Reckless motor vehicle drivers.

If you’re injured in a Florida e-bike accident, a Key West injury lawyer can explore all avenues of compensation (i.e., defective helmets, rental bike agency liability, product liability claims against the e-bike manufacturer, etc.). But such cases are probably going to closely mirror conventional Florida bicycle accident claims than anything else – and those are most typically against motor vehicle drivers.

E-Bike Injuries Often Resemble Conventional Bike Injuries

Questions have been raised about whether e-bikes are better classified as “motor vehicles” – more aligned with motorcycles than traditional bicycles.

But in one study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, researchers looked at injury patterns involving e-bike operators, bicyclists, and motorcycle operators. They found that the injury patterns of e-bikers resembled that of bicyclists “much more” than that of motorcyclists.

Although e-bike patients were on average 14 years older than bicyclists and  did suffer a higher rate of moderate traumatic brain injuries (despite being twice as likely to wear a helmet as bicyclists), they didn’t have anywhere near the severity of injuries that motorcycle crash victims had. E-bikers did tend to suffer twice the rate of pelvic injuries as conventional bike riders, but lower rates of upper extremity injuries.Key West injury lawyer on e-bike accidents; two bicycles resting next to two palm trees on a sandy beach overlooking turquoise water

Researchers speculated that the difference in injury severity between e-bikers and bicyclists had to do with the higher speeds of e-bikes (which can typically go up to 20 mph). Further, the fact that e-bike riders tended to be older meant they likely had less experience, slower reaction times and less control compared to conventional bike riders. (This is especially true when e-bikes are rented.)

It’s pretty well established that all bike-related accidents are associated with head and facial injuries. Another study published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery found that mid-facial injuries were far more common in e-bike riders in accidents than conventional cyclists, who were more likely to suffer dental injuries. Such mid-facial injuries were most commonly to the side of the face/cheek (next to the eye), followed by orbital fractures and then nasal fractures. Although e-bike riders tended to sustain fewer overall injuries, when they were injured, it tended to be severe.

Key West Injury Lawyer Provides Legal Insights for Bicycle Accident Victims

One thing virtually all bike accident victims have in common is that when they collide with a motor vehicle, their injuries tend to be quite severe.

If you are injured in a South Florida bicycle accident – electric or otherwise – a dedicated Key West injury lawyer at Garvin Injury Law can review the facts, assess the viability and value of potential claims, and discuss the ideal strategy for pursuing full and fair compensation. Initial consultations are free, and you only pay attorney’s fees if we win.

If you have been injured in Fort Myers, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, Cape Coral, Naples, or Key West, contact Garvin Injury Law at 800.977.7017 for a free consultation.

Additional Resources:

Maxillofacial Fractures in Electric and Conventional Bicycle-Related Accidents, August 2022, Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

More Blog Entries:

Experienced Naples Car Accident Lawyer Can Help Properly Address Preexisting Conditions in Crash Cases, April 28, 2023, Key West Injury Lawyer Blog

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