The number one risk group is seniors, among whom the pedelec is enjoying growing popularity. 60 percent of the pedelec users killed in 2019 were over 70 years old. These figures are given in the latest traffic safety report by the Dekra expert organization in Stuttgart.
“Older people are often inexperienced cyclists if they have not been using a conventional bicycle for a long time and use the increased convenience of the electric drive to now dare to get back on the road,” explains Luigi Ancona, Dekra accident researcher. “Also, it is not only seniors who often underestimate the unusually high acceleration performance of pedelecs.” Also, responsiveness, eyesight, and sense of balance deteriorate with age. The resistance of the body is also significantly reduced in older people. This means that they injure themselves more quickly and, above all, more severely than young cyclists when they fall.
“For older people, even a small fall can have fatal consequences,” says the accident researcher. The study assumes that the problem will worsen over the next few years due to the age structure of the population and the popularity of e-bikes. The baby boomers grow into old age with an increased risk of injury when cycling. In 2018, 93.2 percent of the pedelec riders killed were 45 years or older. Ancona strongly recommends pedelec and bicycle riders to wear a suitable protective helmet in addition to a forward-looking and considerate riding style. The latter is not even the case for every fourth adult. In the dark season, you should also ensure good visibility. When driving at dusk and night there is reflective clothing such as a safety vest.