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Research emerges on bike-share safety across the U.S.

A rider navigates traffic on a Capital Bikeshare bike in Washington, Wednesday, June 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

WASHINGTON — Bike-share programs like D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare are becoming more popular around the country, and new research indicates the riders who use them are staying safer than regular bicyclists on the roads.

“Overall the vehicle-involved collision rate is lower than what we have seen in rates of personal bicycling,” says Elliot Martin, a researcher with the Mineta Transportation Institute.

Not only is the rate of injuries and vehicle-involved crashes lower, but there have been zero deadly crashes in the United States involving bike-share riders.

One of the key reasons seems to be the design of bike-share bicycles. They are heavy and sturdy, which may slow down riders and make them less likely to engage in risky behavior.

They are also painted with easy-to-see bright colors and they light up at night.

“Those are some of the factors that would contribute to mitigating the risk for collision,” Martin says.

The bike-share research focused on the metro areas around D.C., Minneapolis-St. Paul and San Francisco.

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