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Traffic fatalities have been steadily on the rise for the past seven years in the Netherlands. This includes accidents on bikes. But how much of a role do e-bikes play and are they more dangerous than regular bikes?

It may seem that the continuing surge of e-bike sales may have a connection to the increase in accidents. However, I was recently involved in rider safety training course by Veilig Verkeer Nederland that revealed the cause in this upward trend.

Traffic fatalities in The Netherlands 2013-2019

Graph of traffic casualties in the Netherlands

The use of handheld devices, such as phones across the entire spectrum of transportation has been responsible for the increase in fatalities.

Though E-bikes have played also played a role in the rise in accidents involving bicycles. But determining on how dangerous they are requires a closer look at the facts.

E-bike Fatalities 2019

Statistics reveal that a certain demographic have more accidents while riding an electric bike. Those over the age of sixty are far more likely to be involved in an accident. This makes sense as coordination and responsiveness naturally goes into decline as you get older.

Delivery riders make up half of the fatalities in the 50 and under category while being involved in far more incidents. This is an unfortunate reality whenever money is involved because time and speed determines how much they will earn. These riders are also take more risks, use phones while on the bike, while riding faster for longer hours.

When these two groups merge together on the streets, there is a greater likelihood that accidents can happen.
Electric bikes in accident

Collision involving E-Bikes in Amsterdam

Are E-bikes more dangerous or actually safer?

But Veilig Verkeer Nederland contends that e-bikes are in fact safer for most people.
Among the reasons are…
  • E-bikes tend to be new and are well-maintained.
  • The larger tires are safer when riding on a variety of road conditions.
  • Fatigue is a non-factor.

Traffic will always be dangerous but remember that you are the one in control. When combined with smart riding practices, electric bikes will continue to deliver an effortless, safe and enjoyable ride for anyone. So charge up that battery and hit the road.

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