More elderly people die in e-bike accidents

E-bike
E-bike. Photo: Michael Barera / Wikimedia Commons

The number of fatal traffic accidents involving e-bikes is increasing, especially among older people. Since 2014 a total of 79 people in the Netherlands died in an e-bike accident, 87 percent of them older than 60 years, according to police figures in possession of newspaper AD.

The police call this development very concerning, and urgently advise all e-bike riders to wear helmets. "Due to the aging population, we see people staying mobile for longer and taking on an e-bike. In itself that is good, because it's healthy", Egbert-Jan van Hasselt, national project manager for infrastructure at the police, said to AD. "Unfortunately, some older people don't have the ability to drive it." He adds that bike paths across the Netherlands are increasingly dangerous. "In the past, people had about the same speed. Now we see e-bikes, ordinary bikes, high speed electric bicycles and cargo bikes."

Van Hasselt emphasized that he is not saying people shouldn't stay mobile, only that some extra measures are needed. "It would be good if people follow a course. The e-bike gives an extra boost, sometimes unexpectedly. That could make you stumble and fall", he said to AD. "Wear a helmet, especially if you're older. Research shows that wearing a helmet can prevent serious injury."

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