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Seattle’s Bike-Sharing Program Is Over

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on August 22, 2017

The Seattle bike-sharing program known as Pronto didn’t have a very long life. It began in October 2014 and the last ride was taken in March 2017. But while many predicted that this bike-sharing program would see lots of injuries, that wasn’t the case—as it turns out, there were few riders involved in accidents. Instead, Pronto may have ended, in part, because of Seattle’s own helmet laws.

Seattle’s Strict Helmet Laws

Seattle is one of the few cities that require everyone, children and adults alike, to wear a helmet while riding a bike. Cyclists not wearing helmets can face a fine of $30, but even Seattle’s police department admits these fines are rarely enforced.

But even with this law, and the penalties, Pronto didn’t offer helmets to users.

Seattle is a great city to take in while riding around on a bike. But taking a bike ride can be an impromptu thing, especially when one is wandering around the city and happens upon a bike-sharing station. Not being offered a helmet at the station, many people who would have used Pronto chose not to.

Pronto’s Other Problems

Low ridership was just one factor that contributed to Pronto’s downfall. There was also the fact that the stations and program in general were under a constant state of expansion, never offering riders enough. Pronto also had a serious lack of funding, which was undoubtedly one of the biggest reasons why the program failed. And, as always in Seattle, there were politics surrounding the issue, and more often than not, they worked against Pronto.

Is There Greater Risk When Using a Shared Bike?

The risk of accident and injury is the same whether you’re using a bike-sharing program or your own bicycle. Broken bones are the most common injury and can include the hands, legs, elbow, and clavicle. More serious harm can include damage to the brain as well as the spine, which sometimes result in paralysis or even death.

But no one has ever died from a ride-sharing program in America. The accident numbers have been small, and injuries resulting from those accidents even fewer. This fact, among others, has driven the City of Seattle to implement a new pilot program that began in July 2017 and will end in December 2017. Hopefully, this program will receive more support and encourage more riders than Pronto could during its time.

If you have been injured in a bike-sharing program or when riding a bicycle of your own, contact Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., at (888) 228-3860. We are the Seattle personal injury lawyers who have the experience to handle bike accident cases and get successful outcomes. Don’t battle your injuries on your own. Call us today!

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