Renting a bike for an hour or two is a great way to see the city or get exercise — but it may lead to accidents.
Across the nation, bike sharing programs have become incredibly popular. The specifics vary from city to city but the basic format is the same: bikes are available for free or a nominal fee at stations around town with the quick swipe of a credit or debit card. Generally sponsored by a company, such as Citibank, these programs have helped tourists and local residents enjoy biking and exploring new locations around the country.
Bike sharing has many positive features. It can increase tourism, reduce users’ environmental impact, and allow bikers to exercise and enjoy being outside. But there are dangers associated with these programs — perhaps even more so than with other forms of bike riding.
With bike sharing, the bicycles may not be maintained in the same manner that a private bike would typically be. When you hop onto a bike from a sharing program, you will have no way of knowing when the last time the tires were filled, the gears were lubricated, the chains and brakes were checked or any other routine maintenance was performed. If a bike is not properly maintained, it could lead to an accident if the tire pops, the chain brakes or the brakes fail.
Bike sharing programs may also encourage inexperienced riders to hop onto bikes when they otherwise may not be on bicycles. These rookie riders may not just be bad at riding bikes — they also are unlikely to know the rules of the road, such as properly yielding, signaling turns, and even how to safely navigate turns. Not understanding how to safely ride a bike and to share the road with cars and pedestrians can lead to collisions with cars, walkers and even objects on the street or sidewalks.
Finally, bike sharing programs do not provide safety gear such as helmets. Depending on where you live and your age, failure to wear a helmet while riding a bike could be a violation of local law. More importantly, if you are not wearing a helmet while riding a bike, you could face serious injuries if you do get into an accident. If you do plan to use a bike from a bike sharing program, the smart bet is to bring along your own helmet to reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury and other serious medical issues if you do happen to crash.
Bike sharing programs do have many positive features, and their impact on a local community should not be understated. But they also carry significant safety risks that all users should be aware of before participating in a bike sharing program.
If you have been injured in a bike accident — whether through a bike sharing program or on your own bicycle — you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced bike accident attorney can help you recover the money that you deserve for your losses. Contact the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker today at 800-333-0000 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys have more than 40 years of experience representing victims of all types of accidents, and we will work hard to get the highest possible settlement or award for your injuries. We never charge a fee unless we get money for you!