Do Bike Sharing Programs Lead to Increased Injuries?
Over the past decade, the number of people who choose to travel by bicycle around Atlanta has increased. This rise in bicyclists on our roads is largely due to environmental concerns, health benefits, monetary savings, and more. More people can have easier access to bicycles through our city’s bike sharing programs , which allow residents to “check-out” a bike at one station and return the bike at other stations around the city. This allows not only Atlanta residents to share bicycles but also presents a fun and affordable option for tourists to travel around town. Overall, bike sharing programs have been successful in cities across the United States and are only expected to grow in Atlanta.
Unfortunately, bike sharing does come with the risk of accidents and injuries for various reasons. If you have suffered injury in a bicycle accident in Atlanta–whether as part of a bike sharing program or not–do not hesitate to consult with the experienced personal injury attorneys in Atlanta at Boling Rice LLC at (770) 744-0890 to schedule a free consultation.
Risks of Bike Sharing
Though bike sharing is a generally positive idea, there is a heightened risk for accidents and injuries for various reasons, including the following:
Inadequate maintenance of the bikes. Bicycles require significant maintenance, especially when they are regularly used. Such maintenance includes, checking the chains and brakes, providing lubrication for the gears, filling or patching tires, checking reflectors or horns, and much more. If a bike sharing company does not maintain a bicycle, an accident may occur due to a bicycle malfunction.
Inexperienced riders. Bike sharing makes bicycles available to many people who may not have experience riding a bicycle around Atlanta. Bicyclists must follow the rules of the road, and inexperienced riders may not realize how to properly yield or other protocols of sharing the road, which can lead to accidents.
Lack of helmets. Bike sharing programs do not provide helmets due to logistical and hygiene concerns. Though the programs do encourage riders to wear their own helmets, many do not as Georgia statute 40-6-296  only requires riders under the age of 16 to wear a helmet. Fewer helmets may lead to increased brain trauma or related injuries in the event of a collision.
For the above reasons and more, participants in bike sharing programs may be subject to injuries and should consult with an Atlanta attorney following any type of accident.