Wear Your Helmet! Electric Bikes Linked to Dramatic Increase in Injuries and Hospitalizations

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Benjamin N. Breyer, MD, MAS
Department of Urology
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
University of California, San Francisco
Adrian M. Fernandez, MD
Department of Urology
University of California, San Francisco

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: This is a cross-sectional study utilizing data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) to identify injuries and hospitalizations related to electric bicycles accidents in the United States from 2017-2022.  The NEISS database collates injury data associated with products, including electric bicycles, and samples a nationally representative selection of emergency departments. National estimates of e-bicycle injuries and hospitalizations were derived using estimates accounting for NEISS complex survey design.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Were there any locale/gender or age differences in the findings?

Response:  Between 2017 and 2022, there was a 30-fold rise in electric bicycle injuries (+99% annually) and a 43-fold increase in hospitalizations (+108% annually). Odds of helmet use at the time of injury decreased by 5.6% each year. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Injuries and hospitalizations related to electric bicycles increased substantially between 2017-2022.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a results of this study?

Response: Further studies should be dedicated to comparing injury characteristics/demographics of electric bicycles and other micromobility vehicles.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? Any disclosures?

Response: Riders of electric and conventional vehicles should wear helmets and ride at safe speeds.

Citation: Fernandez AM, Li KD, Patel HV, et al. Electric Bicycle Injuries and Hospitalizations. JAMA Surg. Published online February 21, 2024. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2023.7860

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Last Updated on February 22, 2024 by Marie Benz MD FAAD