Bike share programs have become more popular in cities across the country, and now new information has found that they may make cycling overall safer. Before the city of Philadelphia began its bike share program in 2015, it had been facing an increasing rate of bicycle and car accidents. Researchers publishing in the American Journal of Public Health found a 13% decrease in accidents per year from when Philadelphia’s bike share program began until 2018. This is despite the fact that the city made no other infrastructure changes.
What is a Bike Share Program?
Bike share programs offer affordable, short-term rentals of bicycles throughout a geographical area. Users download a bike share program on their phone or pay at a kiosk, go to a bike share location, and rent one of the bicycles. When they are done using the bike, the user drops it off at the nearest bike share station and returns it. Payment is usually made through a membership system or by paying for how long a rider uses the bicycle. In some cities, these programs have become a legitimate transportation alternative and have added to the number of bicycles on the road.
Safety in Numbers
As a result of its bike share program, Philadelphia added 1,300 more bikes and 400 pedal-assisted electric bikes to the cities roadways. People used them for about 50,000 trips per month. It appears that these programs are effective in reducing the number of bicycle accidents because there is safety in numbers. The more bicycles that are on the road, the more drivers become accustomed to them, and the fewer accidents occur. Drivers who become more used to seeking bicycles are more likely to drive carefully around them and avoid dangerous moves that can lead to accidents. In addition, there are studies that show that the more bicycles riding in an urban area can lead to improvements in infrastructure that are helpful to bicyclists and pedestrians.
Contact an Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you want an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. For over 20 years, Gregg Goldfarb has been helping the victims of bicycle accidents. Contact us online or call us at 305-374-7000 to schedule a free consultation.