Original Research

A Comparison of Manual versus Electric Bicycle Injuries Presenting to a Pediatric Emergency Department

Tali Capua, Miguel Glatstein, Karin Hermon, Oren Tavor, Dennis Scolnik, Veronika Kusaev, and Ayelet Rimon


Background: The use of electric bicycles (E-bikes) has dramatically increased over the last decade. E-bikes offer an inexpensive, alternative form of transport, but also pose a new public health challenge in terms of safety and injury prevention. Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiology and severity of E-bike related injuries among children treated in the emergency department (ED) and to compare these to manual bicycle related injuries. Methods: A retrospective observational study of all pediatric patients presenting to the ED between December 2014 and November 2015 with an injury related to E-bike or manual bicycle use. Data including demographics, diagnosis, injury severity score (ISS), and outcome were compared. Results: A total of 196 cyclist injuries presented to the ED; 85 related to E-bike use and 111 to manual bicycle riders. The mean age of E-bikers was 13.7 years (7.5–16 years) and of manual bicycle riders was 9.9 years (3–16 years). Injuries to the head and the extremities were common in both groups. E-bikers had significantly more intra-abdominal organ injury (P=0.047). Injury severity scores were low overall, but injuries of higher severity (ISS>9) only occurred among the E-bikers. Conclusions: Pediatric E-bike injuries tend to be more severe than those sustained during manual bicycle riding. Further research into bicycle and other road and pavement users could lead to enhanced regulation regarding E-bike usage.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2019;10(3):e0017