As the usage of both e-bikes and conventional bikes increases, so does the number of bicycle-related injuries. New research explores whether e-bikes hold a larger share of facial injuries after an incident.
Researchers at the Groningen University Medical Centre explored the nature of cycling-related facial injuries (maxillofacial fractures) and whether there are differences between those experienced by e-bike users or regular cyclists. The recently released paper will assist in emergency room injury treatment.
311 patients were examined across 4 hospitals for the presence and severity of injury between May 2018 and October 2012. Of these patients, 73 were riders of e-bikes, and a range of other factors such as age and alcohol consumption were taken into consideration. In the sample, it appeared that e-bike riders more often suffered fractures to the centre of the face, while jaw fractures and serious dental injuries were more common for conventional cyclists.
However, when results were corrected in line with additional factors, the conclusion was that patient-specific characteristics, such as age, alcohol use, and comorbidities (the simultaneous presence of two or more medical conditions), may have a greater influence on a rider sustaining maxillofacial fractures than the type of bicycle ridden.
Based on the results, the researchers see reason to promote the use of bicycle helmets among the elderly and vulnerable cyclists, because it has been proven that their use reduces head injuries and has a protective effect against facial injuries and fractures.