In the last few years, we’ve seen a significant increase in the popularity of electric bikes (e-bikes) as a sustainable and eco-friendly mode of transportation. Offering an effortless way to navigate through city streets and scenic routes, e-bikes have gained traction among commuters, leisure cyclists, and even tourists. This rise in popularity has also brought about a concerning trend: the surge of e-bike accidents.
The CPSC categorizes e-bikes as part of a trio of micromobility devices, along with e-scooters and hoverboards. From 2017 to 2021, injuries related to e-bikes constituted 11% of the total estimated micromobility injury cases, which included 53 documented fatalities. Further, completed investigation reports revealed fire hazards and brake problems in 72% of the incidents.
Common E-Bike Injuries
According to CPSC investigations, common e-bike injuries include: Fractures, followed by contusions/abrasions, constitute the two most prevalent diagnoses. The upper and lower limbs, along with the head and neck, stand out as the body parts most frequently affected by injuries. Additionally, user-control loss, collisions with other motor vehicles, and problems with pavement contribute significantly to the occurrence of injuries.
In total, around 89% of those injured received treatment in the emergency room. Roughly 8% undergo treatment, admission, or transfer to another medical facility. The remaining 3 percent of injury cases involve outcomes such as leaving without receiving medical attention, being kept under observation, or unfortunately, fatalities.
Death of 12-Year-Old California Girl
One notable fatality that reached national news was the death of a 12-year-old California girl in January of 2021. While riding downhill on the back of a RadRunner e-bike with a friend, the e-bike started to shake and wobble causing the girls to crash. Although doctors attempted multiple brain surgeries to save the girl, she passed away two weeks later.
The family filed an e-bike lawsuit stating that the model of e-bike had “multiple design defects,” which included an issue with the brakes and front wheel. In some cases, the wheel is known to come all the way off. The family alleges that Rad Power e-bikes had been made aware of the issue, but never redesigned the e-bike.
E-Bike Battery Fires and Explosions
Lithium-ion batteries, responsible for e-bike battery explosions, have drawn significant concern from fire departments across the country. These batteries can trigger sparks, fires, and consequently, severe burns and injuries to riders when they become overheated. Several prevalent factors that can contribute to lithium battery explosions encompass:
- Defects in manufacturing or design
- Battery damage
- Exposure to excessive heat
- Utilizing an incorrect charger during the battery charging process
E-Bike Brake Malfunctions/Failures
Instances of e-bike brake failures can result in compromised stopping power, delayed response times, or complete brake unresponsiveness. These issues can lead to accidents, collisions, and injuries for both the rider and others sharing the road. Brake failures might be attributed to various factors, including manufacturing defects, inadequate maintenance, wear and tear, or even design flaws.
National E-Bike Injury Lawyers
Our team of product liability lawyers is currently investigating e-bike accidents that may have been caused by a manufacturing defect or flawed design. If you or your loved one was injured in an e-bike accident, contact our team to discuss your situation during a free consultation. Call or text 757-233-0009 anytime.