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Riding a bike? It may be safer to bike share.

A study released in March 2016 by The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) concludes that bikers who use bike share programs may be safer than those who choose to ride their own bikes. Data from the study indicates that nonfatal injury rates in the U.S. and Canada are lower for bike share users than for other types of cyclists. 

Bike share programs have been successful in several major cities across the U.S., including New York, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Chicago and San Francisco. Sacramento is currently developing its own bike share program. 

The MTI report concluded that there are two reasons people using bike share bikes may be less at risk for injury than others on two wheels:

  • Design. Bike share bikes tend to be heavier than personal bicycles. This often means that bikers on bike share bikes ride more slowly than cyclists on lighter, more nimble bikes. 
  • Behavior. The study also indicates that riders who use bike share bicycles, despite a low rate of helmet use, tend to ride more conservatively than riders on other types of bikes. 

Of course riding a bike share bicycle doesn't make you immune from accidents and injuries-- even fatal ones. Earlier this month in Chicago, a woman died from what is believed to be the first bike share fatality in the U.S. If you are riding a bike around a city, however, the heavy frame of the typical ride share bike may offer you a degree of protection. And as always, if you find yourself in the unlucky position of having been injured in a bicycle accident, contact a personal injury attorney who can help you secure the maximum possible compensation to help you pay for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses. 

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