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Bike shares and safety

It seems that ride share programs like Uber and Lyft have quickly become part of the fabric in the metro areas of Louisiana. The next step has been the launch of Blue Bikes in New Orleans, which enables customers to hop on one of the 700 bikes at any one of its 68 stations in the city.

Advocates for bikes shares see plenty of reasons why they are a great idea, including:

  • It is fun
  • It is convenient
  • It encourages good health
  • It is eco-friendly
  • It is relatively affordable

While scooter-related injuries have greatly increased with their rising popularity, there has been evidence that there is still the potential for severe injuries on a bike. Here are some safety tips are important to remember when riding a bike share. Some are a part of the biking experience, others are unique to riding a rideshare:

  • Wear a helmet: Even with the slower bikes, it is still highly recommended that riders wear a helmet.
  • Obey all traffic laws: Drivers in cars and trucks might not always see bike riders, so it is best to obey all laws.
  • Drive defensively: Some drivers see riders but do not give them a wide berth or may even target bikers, so it is always best to be defensive.
  • Check the equipment: Before heading into traffic with a rental bike, it is best to check to make sure the brakes work, the tires are properly inflated, and that there are reflectors on the frame and wheels.

What to do if injured

It is an unfortunate fact that Louisiana bike accidents top the number of bike crashes per capita in recent years with 21 fatalities and 731 severe injuries in 2018. The highest percentages were actually among adults.

Whether it is a wrongful death or severe injury, it is important for victims and their loved ones to seek compensation for damages suffered on a bike share. Because riders using bike shares sign a waiver before starting, this likely means that they will have to seek compensation from the negligent parties unrelated to the rental. Some personal injury attorneys have experience helping bikers and can assist those using a bike share or their own two-wheel ride.

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