More e-bike fatalities in the Netherlands
Cycling in the Netherlands on an e-bike is becoming increasingly popular. E-bikes are bikes which also have an electric motor. With their popularity, the number of e-bike fatalities has also risen, according to new figures regarding traffic-related deaths.
Since 2014, 79 cyclists on e-bikes have passed away after being involved in a traffic accident. In total, 629 people died in road accidents last year, with 189 being cyclists and 28 of these e-bike cyclists. This year the numbers are expected to grow.
Accidents are especially prevalent amongst the elderly, with 87 percent of road casualties involving e-bike cyclists aged 60 or above. The ageing population is staying mobile for longer, however, this does not mean that they still possess the skills needed to operate an e-bike.
Helmets and courses
Bike paths in the Netherlands are becoming busier and a variety of bikes are being used, meaning that the difference in the speed at which people cycle has also become greater.
The Dutch Traffic Safety Association (VVN) suggests that older users of e-bikes should follow a course, in which practical tips are given to avoid accidents, such as making sure you can put both feet on the ground when seated.
The VVN offers a few thousand of these courses per year, but that is nothing compared to the number of e-bikes on the streets, namely around 1,5 million in the Netherlands.
E-bike cyclists should also avoid cycling too fast when taking a sharp corner. The Dutch police advise wearing a helmet to prevent head injuries.
The Dutch Cyclists Federation is, however, against the compulsory wearing of helmets for cyclists, as this often adds little protection by a high-speed accident. The VVN is also opposed to compulsory helmets.