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Fri, 13 Jun 2014 08:28:02 +0000
(PULLMAN, Wash.) -- Bike share programs offered by some major U.S. cities are intended to keep people fit but they may also have a dangerous unintended side-effect.
Janessa Graves and her team at Washington State University discovered that these programs have resulted in a 14 percent greater risk of head injuries since no helmets are available at the kiosks that make the bicycles available.
The WSU researchers based their findings on data from Montreal, Washington, Minneapolis, Boston and Miami Beach, and compared them to cities without bike share programs.
Everyone is susceptible to a serious injury if they won't protect their head, whether they're seasoned riders or tourists just visiting a city for the day.
Therefore, Graves recommends all city bike share programs make helmet rentals or purchases easily available to riders.
She adds, "Head injuries are much easier to prevent than they are to treat. And we suggest that people should and could do both: get out there and bike but also wear a helmet while you're doing it."
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