Bikeshare riders more likely to forego helmets

Capital Bikeshare is always taking suggestions for where to place its next bike station, but has released its most popular top ten. (WTOP)

WASHINGTON – Capital Bikeshare’s red bikes are a convenient way to get around town, but many people using them aren’t doing so in the safest way possible.

Watching bike commuters, Georgetown researchers counted just a third of those on Capital Bikeshare wearing helmets around town. Commuters on their own bikes fared better, at 70 percent.

The researchers observed fewer Bikeshare riders using helmets overall, as shown in their study to be published in the August issue of American Journal of Public Health. This suggests that even more should be done to push helmet use in the successful system.

Capital Bikeshare says bikes were checked out more than 6,000 times a day in May, for a new monthly high of about 196,000 rides. The helmet question is a big issue as Bikeshare grows.

Bikeshare did launch a new push to get riders helmets in April. The organization has more new bike docks in the works.

WTOP’s Max Smith contributed to this report. Follow Max and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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