The Washington Post recently shared a study comparing data for bicyclists in five cities. Researchers revealed a 7.8 percent increase in head injuries after bike share programs were initiated in those cities, compared to five cities with no such programs, which actually showed head injuries declining by 2.3 percent. Overall, cities employing bike share programs showed a 14 percent higher risk of head injuries to cyclists.
Amazingly, no U.S. bike share programs currently provide helmets, in spite of overwhelming evidence that they deter head injuries.
Many cities have found these programs remarkably popular, yet none have plans to offer helmets—riders are instead encouraged to use their own. Recently, Dallas even eliminated adult helmet laws, hoping to increase the popularity of their bike share program.
Boston and Seattle are trying to change things, with plans to provide protective headgear for their bike share participants. Using a credit card at a small kiosk, riders will select a helmet which can be returned after their ride. Helmets will be picked up for cleaning and inspection, and then returned to the boxes.
Janessa Graves, the lead author of the study from Washington State University, says plainly, “The conclusion of our study [is] that… a bicycling-related…head injury is likely attributable to the low propensity of [bike share] cyclists to use helmets.” It is obviously time cities provide helmets for their bike share programs. “You rent a car [and] there are seatbelts,” Graves adds. “You don’t have to advocate for them. [Helmets] should be part and parcel of the program.”
What If I Am Injured in a Bicycle Accident?
As Julie Heiden says above, Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P. strives to protect the rights of bicycle accident victims. If you have suffered serious injuries in a bicycle accident, call our firm today for a free consultation. We are always committed to getting you the compensation you deserve.
Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P.