Bike-Sharing: Safer Than Riding Your Own Bike

DC-BikeshareIt seems counterintuitive. You’d think that riding your own bike would be safer than riding a shared bike. But that’s not the case. In Paris, London, and Washington, D.C., fewer people are injured when they use the new bike-sharing systems.

In London, no one was seriously injured or killed on the first 4.5 million trips on what the locals call Boris Bikes (Barclays Cycle Hire system), while about 12 people are injured for every 4.5 million trips on personal bikes.

And in D.C., the same thing happens: “While only seven bike-sharing riders were injured in 330,000 trips, on average, 13 people riding personal bikes are injured over the same number of trips. And bike-sharing riders suffered no serious injuries, while riders using their own bikes suffered injuries that were sometimes serious or even fatal.”

So why does this happen? Professor Norman Garrick of the University of Connecticut speculates that it could be shorter trips on shared bikes. Professor Ian Walker of the University of Bath (England) suggests bike-sharers might be less experienced and “stick to safer cycling behavior,” or they “could be more dedicated cyclists with an above-average skill level.” Garrick adds that the shared bikes themselves might be a factor, since they’re more visible (often bright red or yellow) and slower.


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One Response to “Bike-Sharing: Safer Than Riding Your Own Bike”

  1. Juan says:

    It was in Mt. Gilead, Ohio in 1955. My Dad took me into the Moore Store’ and there set the most beautiful bike in the world. A 24 inch Monarch boy’s bike in purlpe metallic paint with a tank on it that had dual headlights and a horn built-in. I fell in love on the spot. It was $29.95 and I asked my Dad to buy it for me. He said if I wanted it I would have to work for it, he would put $5.00 down on it, and I would have to bring my allowance ($1,50) each week along with any other money I could earn doing lawns or errands. I worked my tail off and was there every Saturday morning to make my payment. The store owner would let me ride it around in the parking lot for a few minutes each week. I paid it off in 8 weeks. I remember walking the 3 miles to the store that last day so I could pay it off and ride it home. I was in Heaven, even though I had to ride it down the railroad track to get home. The bump-bump-bump across the ties was grueling but soon I was home and showing off my new bike to all my buddies and for awhile I was the talk of the neighborhood getting a new bike back then rather then a hand-me-down was pretty cool!



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