Citi Bikes in NYC: No Helmets Required

The new bike-share program in NYC allows riders to be responsible for their own safety. Under this program, helmets are not required but are highly encouraged.

With the increasing number of cyclists in NYC, experts are predicting a disastrous increase in injuries and fatalities. Luckily, just three minor accidents have occurred since the Citi Bike program was established a month ago. The city has stated that making helmets mandatory would be impractical to enforce. The reason is that helmet requirements tend to dampen the popularity of bike-share programs by taking the spontaneity out of the decision to just hop on a bike and go.

With the installation of more bike lanes around the city, NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg, is encouraging a healthy lifestyle with the use of bicycles as a mode of transportation. However, in a 2009 study, researchers found that bike lanes tend to be blocked more often than not – during a 10-minute span, a cyclist has a 60% chance of being blocked by a car, truck or taxi. The lack of a helmet requirement, blocked bike lanes and inexperienced cyclists hitting the road, Rutgers University professor John Pucher is predicting that the number of the cyclist injuries and fatalities will double or even triple in Citi Bike’s first year. However, there is also research that supports the theory that bike-share programs calm traffic because drivers are more cautious when cyclists are on the road.

Although it is optional to wear a helmet when using the Citi Bike’s around NYC, we highly encourage that you do so in order to protect yourself from injury or worse, death. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a bicycle-related accident, contact us immediately.

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