2 On Your Side: Orange County Sees Spike In E-Bike Accidents

BEGINNING OF PANDEMIC. PAT: ORANGE COUNTY HOSPITAL REPORTS 500% INCREASE IN E-BIKE ACCIDENTS FROM THIS TIME LAST YEAR. THIS AFTER TWO PEOPLE DIED IN THE COUNTY WHILE RIDING ELECTRIC BIKES. KRISTINE LAZAR LOOKS INTO SAFETY OF E-BIKES AND WHY SOME MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL SAY RIDERS DON'T REALIZE HOW DANGEROUS THE BIKES CAN BE. REPORTER: A LOT OF PARENTS AS WELL. DURING PANDEMIC WE WANT TO GET OUTSIDE DO SOMETHING, THAT PROBABLY CONTRIBUTED TO SUCH A RISE IN POPULARITY. RESEARCHING THIS STORY, ONE THING I HEARD OVER AND OVER, IS THAT E-BIKES ARE NOT YOUR TYPICAL BIKE. AND INJURY SUSTAINED WHILE RIDING A BIKE ON PAR WITH MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS. DESPITE THIS WE SAW MAJORITY OF PEOPLE RIDING NOT WEARING A HET MEL. AND OFF — HELMET AND RIDING IN A MANNER MANY WOULD SAID IS RECKLESS.

>> HOA WHAT IS THIS KID DOING? REPORTER: TEENAGER ATTEMPTS TO STAND ON HIS E-BIKE WHILE RIDING IN MIDDLE OF TRAFFIC. SOUND OF — METAL ON METAL. >> I PICKED UP SPEED, I COULD NOT GET MOTOR TO TURN OFF. REPORTER: STORIES PANIC FROM CRASH VICTIMS AND FAMILIES. >> FIRST THING HE REMEMBERED WAS SEEING HIMSELF TANGLED IN HIS BIKE, AND HIS FEMUR LIKE WRAPPED AROUND HIS HANDLE BAR.

>> AN X-RAY OF NICOLE'S SON FEMUR. BONE SNAPPED IN HALF AFTER THE TEEN WAS COMING DOWN THIS HILL. IN SAN CLEMENTE ON HIS, BIKE. HE LOST CONTROL, AND COLLIDED WITH THIS STREET SIGN. HE WAS RUSHED IS SURGERY. >> THEY HAD TO TRAIN HIS GROWTH RATE, THEY PUT A ROD IN HIS HIP. ALL THE WAY THROUGH TO BOTTOM OF HIS SCREWS AT BOTTOM AND TOP. REPORTER: FROM JANUARY TO AUGUST OF HOSPITAL TREATED 11 E-BIKE TRAUMA PATIENTS, DURING THAT SAME PERIOD THIS YEAR, THAT NUMBER JUMPED TO 70.

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IN 2020, ONLY ONE OF THEIR E-BIKE ACCIDENTS PATIENTS WERE CHILDREN. IN 2021. THAT NUMBER SKYROCKETED TO 22. >> MOST COMMON INJURIES ARE BROKEN BONES. ARMS AND LEGS. FOLLOWED BY HEAD INJURIES. AND INTERNAL ORGAN. >> HOSPITAL REPORTS 45% OF THEIR E-BIKE ACCIDENT PATIENTS WERE NOT WEARING A HELMET, MAJORITY OF PATIENTS THEY SEE HAVE SEVERE INJURIES. >> LAST TWO WEEKS WE HAD TWO HIGH GRADE LIVER INJURIES IN TEENS. REPORTER: JENNIFER WAS INJURED RIDING AN E-BIKE ALMOST 3 YEARS AGO, SHE WAS NOT ABLE TO SLOW THE BIKE DOWN AND VEERED ON SIDEWALK TO AVOID RIDING INTO ONCOMING TRAFFIC. >> MY HELMET WAS SHATTERED. A SPENT A YEAR IN THERAPY. >> STEVE IS OWNER OF BIKE LEGAL LAW FIRM. >> AMOUNT OF GROWTH WE'VE SEEN IN ACCIDENTS, CATASTROPHIC. INJURY ACCESS RELATED TO E-BIKES ON THE RISE. REPORTER: HE SAID MANY OF HIS CLIENTS TREATED E-BIKES AS THEY WOULD TRADITIONAL BIKES. >> I THINK THAT PEOPLE MISTAKESLY BELIEVE THAT E-BIKES ARE JUST LIKE ANY BIKE. I AM GETTING ON A BIKE.

IT IS NOT IT IS MORE AKIN TO A MOTORCYCLE OR A MOPED. REPORTER: THEY CAN GO UP TO 28 MILES PER HOUR, AND SAVE TIE EXPERT SAY TOO MANY PEOPLE ARE GETTING TO E-BIKING WITHOUT PROPER TRAINING IN SEPTEMBER A 36 YEAR OLD MOTHER DIED AND HER TWO YOUNG CHILDREN SERIOUSLY INJURED AFTER SHE CRASHED. AND EARLIER, A FORMER COACH SUFFERED A SEVERE HEAD INJURY. HE DIED DAYS LATER. >> 44% — >> THIS MONTH ADVOCATES, HOSTED AN INFORMATIONAL MEETING ON IRK BIKE SAVE TIE. >> 30-YEARS IN BUSINESS NEVER SEEN A CYCLING CATEGORY GROW THIS FAST.

REPORTER: BIKE SHOP OWNER SAID THERE IS A PLACE FOR E-BIKES AS LONG AS USED RESPONSIBLY. >> WEARING A HELMET, ANDN UNDERSTANDING HOW TO USE THE BIKE BEFORE THEY GO HOME. POWER IS ADDICTIVE. AND FUN IT IS JUST LEARNING HOW TO USE IT IN PROPER WAY IS CRITICAL. REPORTER: FASTEST CLASS OF E-BIKES TO BE RIDDEN BY THOSE 16 UP AND, RIDERS UNDER 18, MUST WEAR A HELMET. RIDERS DON'T NEED INSURANCE OR LICENSE TO RIDE AN E-BIKE. PAT: BUT, WE KNOW THAT E-BIKES ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE, WHAT CAN PARENTS OF YOUNG RIDERS >> THERE ARE WAYS TO MAKE IT SAFER. SAFETY EXPERT SAY THAT EVERYONE SHOULD HELMET, THEY MAY CONSIDER A MOTORCYCLE HELMET. WHICH OFFERS MORE PROTECTION. AND BEST TO BUY BIKE IN PERSON. BIKE SHOP CAN TEACH YOU HOW TO PROPERLY USE THE BIKE, AND ALTHOUGH E-BIKES CAN GO UP TO 28 MILES PER HOUR. THEY CAN PICK UP MORE SPEED WHEN GOING DOWN HILL. CONSIDER YOUR ROUTE AND SPEED BEFORE YOU GET ON T THE E-BIKE. PAT: ALL RIGHT, THANK.

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