Information from the German Federal Statistical Office and the Federal Motor Transport Authority shows:
a) Along with a simultaneous improving of the transport infrastructure, the number of passenger cars in Germany has almost doubled between 1980 and 2010, but the number of motorcycles has more than quintupled.
b) At about the same time the annual death rates with passenger cars have declined by the factor 4, with motorcycles only by the factor 2.25.
c) The death rates of moped drivers and cyclists have significantly dropped in these 30 years as well despite increasing usage – one can anticipate an opposing trend here within the next years due to the rapid increase of ever-faster e-bikes.
d) In 2011, more than 1,100 drivers of two-wheeled vehicles died in road traffic in Germany, another 400 in various sports such as horseback riding, climbing and skiing – the number of seriously injured persons with often lifelong effects from their injuries lies above 7,000 every year according to the projections of the German Insurers Accident Research (UDV).
As a consequence of more than half a million fall-related injuries the annual death rate in the home and leisure sector is approximately 12,000 alone for the over 60s, the number of seriously injured persons is above 60,000 – with an increasing tendency due to the demographic trend.
Consequently, elderly people, infirm persons and sick people not only in their home environment, but in particular in acute care and rehabilitation clinics, in ambulant and residential care facilities are affected. However, the growing number of people suffering from obesity, (BMI> 30) are similarly at risk – not only due to the loss of the visual control, but due to almost always existing comorbidity (amongst others hypertension, early osteoarthritis, diabetic neuropathy).
The number of Germans in need of care will increase from currently 2.6 to 3.3 million in 2030 according to the “Care Home Rating Report 2013”. About 1 million (5% of 20 million) hospitalized clinic and rehab patients with insecure gait as well 9.8 million mostly multimorbid patients suffering from obesity (see above) have to be added to this 2.6 million people in need of care – this adds up to today’s total of 13.4 million people that are exposed to an increased risk of falling and injury on 365 days a year over 24 hours.
The personal fall, at home or on the street, is part of the normal risk of life – though personally insurable, however without influence of third parties, not of public interest.
However, in case of a serious fall, every elderly person, person in need of care, clinic and rehab patient as well as multimorbid persons suffering from obesity has burdened the responsible employer’s liability insurance association (administration), the personal accident insurance as well as the compulsory health and statutory pension insurance with average case costs (geriatric traumatology of the 65 to 80 years old people) of far more than € 10,000 in 2012.
When taking only the above-mentioned number of more than 70,000 seriously and fatally injured persons above 60 years old in the home environment as a basis, an annual cost burden to the social systems of more than € 700 million results solely for this group.