Pedelec/E-Bike: more and more dead and injured – the reasons

More and more people are having accidents with a pedelec (e-bike). Pedelec accidents are also more fatal than accidents with bicycles without an auxiliary motor.

Definition: Pedelec – difference to e-bike

Colloquially, pedelecs are also referred to as e-bikes. But pedelecs are bicycles with an auxiliary electric drive that you have to pedal; an e-bike, on the other hand, can only move without pedaling using the power of its e-motor. Strictly speaking, an e-bike is an electric moped. You can read more about this in this article: Pedelec, S-Pedelec, E-Bike, E-Scooter, E-Scooter: What is what?

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More and more pedelecs – more and more accidents involving pedelecs

According to the Federal Statistical Office Destatis, around 13% of private households in Germany had at least one pedelec in 2021. In 2014, on the other hand, only around 3 percent of households had a pedelec. This development is reflected in the number of accidents: in 2021 the police reported 17,285 pedelec accidents involving personal injury, in 2014 there were only 2,245 (in 2014 the police accident report for the first time nationwide differentiated between bicycles without an auxiliary motor and pedelecs). In the case of non-motorized bicycles, on the other hand, the number of accidents involving personal injury fell from 76,643 in 2014 to 67,931 in 2021.

Accidents with and without e-assistance.


Accidents with and without e-assistance.


More and more crashed pedelec riders

The growing use of pedelecs is also reflected in the number of pedelec users involved in accidents. In 2021, 17,045 people who were traveling by pedelec had an accident. In 2014, there were only around 2,223 people involved in pedelec accidents.

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A similar development can also be found in the number of fatalities: in 2021, 131 people died on a pedelec, in 2014 it was “only” 39 women, men and children.

In contrast, the number of casualties on non-motorized bicycles fell by around 12 percent between 2014 and 2021. In 2014 there were still 76,073 people, in 2021 around 67,080 people were injured on a non-motorized bicycle. The number of fatalities fell from 357 to 241 during this period.

age distribution.

Pedelecs are deadly

Based on 1000 pedelec accidents with personal injury, 7.6 riders died in 2021, with a non-motorized bicycle it was “only” 3.5 fatalities. However, the number of people who have fatal accidents with a pedelec per 1000 pedelec accidents involving personal injury has fallen significantly in recent years: In 2014 there were still 17.4 fatalities per 1000 pedelec accidents involving personal injury.

According to Destatis, this is also due to the age of the casualties: people who were injured or killed on a pedelec were on average 55 years old, while the drivers of non-motorized bicycles are significantly younger at 41 years. According to Destatis, older people are more likely to be seriously or fatally injured in a fall than younger people.

More and more younger pedelec riders

In 2014, more than half (54.5 pedelecs) of the users of such a pedelec who had an accident were at least 65 years old, but in 2021 it was only a third (33.5 percent). As reported by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), the proportion of younger people involved in pedelec accidents has increased accordingly: in 2014 every ninth person (10.7 percent) who had an accident with a pedelec was under 45 years of age, in 2021 a good one in four (27 .8 percent). For comparison: In the case of casualties on non-motorized bicycles, one or every sixth casualty was 65 and older. More than half (55.5 percent) were younger than 45 years.

scooter accidents

In 2021 there were 5535 e-scooter accidents involving personal injury. 482 people who were traveling with the e-scooter were injured, five of whom died.

In 2021, the average age of an e-scooter driver involved in an accident was 31 years. 41.4% were under 25 years old. Only 3.4 percent of the e-scooter users involved in an accident belong to the 65+ age group.

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Driving under the influence of alcohol is a common cause of accidents

In total, the police registered 5967 misconduct among e-scooter drivers who had an accident. By far the most common allegations were driving under the influence of alcohol (1080 misconduct) and using the roadway or sidewalks incorrectly (1079 misconduct, 18.1 percent each). Inappropriate speed, the third most common accusation against e-scooter drivers, played a role in 7.4% of the accidents (443 misconduct).


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