Seattle Bike Share Problem First to Offer HelmetsBicycle sharing programs have grown in popularity in recent years. You can now temporarily borrow a bike to ride from one location to another without any concern for ownership in cities like Denver, Washington D.C., and New York City. These sharing programs provide opportunities for locals to get around town in a cost-effective, healthy way without adding pollution or traffic congestion. A new study, however, shows that bike-sharing programs do increase the risk of head injuries.
Now that Seattle is embarking on its own bike-sharing program, it is important to review how safe these programs are and what can be done to make them better. According to a University of Washington and Washington State University study published in the American Journal of Public Health, cities with a bike sharing program have experienced a 14 percent increase in head injuries. Bike sharing programs in the United States currently do not offer helmets.
Seattle’s bike share program is apparently going to be different. According to a KPLU news report, Seattle will have the first bike share program in the world that also offers helmet rentals. For a $2 rental fee, Seattle bike share riders will be able to get a helmet that has been sanitized and inspected. These helmets will allow riders to obey the city’s mandatory helmet law while keeping them safe from serious injuries.
Currently, there is no state law requiring helmet use, but Seattle is a bike-friendly city that has required all riders to wear a helmet since 2003. Helmets cannot prevent all fatal head injuries, but they greatly increase a rider’s chance of surviving an accident. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, please contact an experienced Seattle bicycle accident lawyer who will help protect your legal rights and ensure that you are fairly and fully compensated for your losses.