The Dangerous Side to D.C.’s Eco-friendly Transportation

With the addition of more than 1800 bicycles to Washington, D.C’s cycling population through the bike share program, more and more riders are hitting the city streets getting to their destinations of choice.

But, when riders check out a bike for an afternoon or day, there is a dangerous downside that comes with bike sharing. When you go to pick up a bike, unless you happen to bring along a helmet that you personally own, you have no head protection in the event of a Washington, D.C. bike accident.

The bike share company who provides the 1800+ bicycles around the city does offer riders the option of purchasing a helmet directly through their company, or from a participating local retailer, but the problem still remains. Non-bike owners still are required to purchase vital protective headgear for something you may only choose to ride on a few sparing occasions. This may also pose a problem for tourists who choose to rent a bike for a few hours while visiting our nation’s capital. In many cases, these individuals probably do not carry bicycle helmets around with them.

But, you might think, ”It’s not a big deal. I’m just taking a casual bike ride around the city. What could happen?” But the reality is, it only takes a split second for a bike collision to occur. The District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT) states that an average of 265 bicycle crashes happen annually throughout the metro area. Thousands bike to work everyday. And, there are more than 15 million tourists that visit DC each year. That puts a significant number of cyclists in danger of experiencing a traumatic head injury or death in the event of a bicycle accident.

The Dangers of Not Wearing a Bicycle Helmet

  • In 2009, nationwide, about 9 out of 10 bicyclists killed weren’t wearing a bike helmet.
  • Most serious bike accident related injuries among those killed were traumatic head injuries.
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can cause vision problems, memory problems, walking and balance problems, speech disabilities, loss of cognitive function, decrease in fine motor skills, and many other difficulties.

All evidence supports the benefits of wearing a bike helmet while riding, and, many states even have laws requiring their use. However, if you choose to rent a bike in DC, you must take extra initiative to make sure your head is protected while riding.

Our skilled Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. bike accident attorneys have years of experience seeking justice for bicycle accident victims, and are available to answer your questions about your bicycle accident case. Call Lewis & Tompkins today at 202-296-0666 to speak with an attorney about your injuries.