Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Unsafe riding practice among electric bikers in Suzhou, China: an observational study
  1. Jie Yang1,
  2. Yihe Hu2,
  3. Wei Du3,4,
  4. Brent Powis5,
  5. Joan Ozanne-Smith6,
  6. Yilan Liao7,
  7. Ning Li3,
  8. Ming Wu1
  1. 1Department of Chronic Disease Control, Jiangsu Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, China
  2. 2Department of Chronic Disease Control, Suzhou Municipal Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Suzhou, China
  3. 3Institute of Population Research, Peking University, China
  4. 4Neuroscience Research Australia, University of New South Wales, Australia
  5. 5School of Postgraduate Studies and Research, International Medical University, Malaysia
  6. 6Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University, Australia
  7. 7Institute of Geographical Sciences and Nature Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ming Wu; wuming{at}


Background Electric bike (E-bike)-related deaths have been increasing rapidly in China and such injuries may be partly attributable to unsafe riding practice.

Objectives To describe potentially unsafe riding behaviours among electric bikers (E-bikers) and to investigate factors influencing these practices in China.

Methods In September 2012, a cross-sectional observation study including a speed measurement component was conducted in Wuzhong (an urban district) and Zhangjiagang (a rural district) of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. Hand-held radar speed metres were used to read travelling speeds of E-bikes and a pro forma observation checklist was used to collect data on road riding practice. Mixed-effect logistic regressions were used to calculate adjusted ORs and 95% CIs for the association between speeding, road rule violations and helmet use and their influencing factors.

Results Among 800 E-bikes with a speed reading, 70.9% exceeded the designed speed limit of 20 km/h. Among a further 20 647 E-bikers observed, 38.3% did not comply with the road rules when entering intersections; and only 2.2% wore helmets. No regional variation was identified between urban and rural areas. Male E-bikers were associated with more speeding and road rule violations, whereas riding a pedal-equipped E-bike was associated with less road rule violations and less helmet use.

Conclusions Unsafe riding practices such as speeding, road rule violations and lack of helmet use were commonplace among E-bikers, especially among men. The study findings indicate that measures aimed at improving E-bike safety are required in China.

  • Electric Bike
  • Cross Sectional Study
  • Behavior
  • Risk Factor Research
  • Driver

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. See:

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.