No helmet? It just seems crazy. Bicycle helmets are the most effective way to reduce your risks of an injury, and even death, in the event of an accident.
According to ABC News, the bike-share program in New York City does not require its users to wear a helmet. With the lack of this regulation, many safety advocates are speaking up. And some comedians, like Jon Stewart from “The Daily Show” are poking fun at the very serious matter, suggesting our city get a “Street Brain Material Removal Service.”
Our New York City bicycle accident lawyers understand that there have been more than 500,000 rides taken throughout the city on these rented bikes, and thankfully we’ve only seen three minor accidents. But we’re sure to see a serious one here soon (just based on the laws of statistics) and we can help to reduce the severity by requiring bicyclists to wear a helmet.
As it stands now, helmets are merely “encouraged but not required.” The only ones required to wear a helmet are cyclists under the age of 15, under New York State law.
Although they may not be required, officers and safety advocates are promoting use by handing out 20,000 free helmets in 2013. Annual members of the bike-share program also receive $10 off a new helmet at any bike shop in the city. But even with these incentives, there are far too many bicyclists cruising around town without a helmet — facing some serious risks for injuries and even death.
But with the increase in bicycles, you’re finding a lot more helmets — at newsstands that is. Many entrepreneurial newsstands have started carrying helmets, alongside newspapers, gum and cigarettes. Hotels are even offering helmets and various headgear.
Seth Solomonow, a spokesperson with the NYCDOT, says that many other cities with this kind of bike-share program don’t require helmets either.
The reason that helmets aren’t required, according to experts, is because this requirement decreases the popularity of this kind of program. It eliminates the spontaneity of riding, they say. If you’ve got to plan out your ride ahead of time, less are likely to rent and bike.
But this might be a concern we should address sooner rather than later, as the bike-sharing program (Citi Bike) is expected to expand soon — from 6,000 bicycles and 330 kiosks to 10,000 bicycles and 600 kiosks.
In the last 20 years, the number of bicyclists in the city has increased by more than 220 percent. And with the launch and expansion of this bike-sharing program, we can expect that number to skyrocket once again. What we don’t want to increase alongside are the rates for accidents and injuries. Do the right (and safe) thing out there and strap on a helmet. It could wind up saving your life!
The Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC offers free consultations to those who have been injured in a bike accident. Call 1-877-313-7673.
More Blog Entries:
New York Bicyclist Struck By SUV Days After Launch of City Program, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, June 8, 2013
NYC Bicycle Accidents and the Risk of Commerical Riders, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, April 12, 2013