Use the grey matter when renting a city bike
City bikes are popular in several Norwegian cities. “We see very few who wear a helmet riding a city bike. That worries us”, the insurance industry warns.
– Anyone can borrow a city bike at any time. That’s what’s so convenient with them. But that also entail that many inexperienced bikers and tourists become part of an traffic situation that they are not familiar with. Then it’s extra dangerous to drop using a helmet, says Communications Manager in Frende Insurance, Heidi Tofterå Slettemoen.
– A system has to be made available for renting city bikes equpped with a helmet, says District Manager for Safe Traffic in Østfold (Trygg Trafikk), Paal-Gunnar Mathisen.
Thousands of injuries every year
A city bike is easy to rent and return. They are handy for short trips in and around the city centres. Many people rent a city bike after consuming alcohol.
– There is many very dangerous situations arising due to that, alcohol does not belong either on a bike or in traffic überhaupt, the Communications Manager in Frende affirms.
Almost 5,000 persons require medical attention after suffering injuries related to biking every year.
– It seems that many do not think that accidents don’t happen on shorter trips, and therefore doesn’t wear a helmet, she says.
Obligatory wearing a helmet
Mathisen in Safe Traffic agrees.
– People on a city bike are not protected against head injuries.We hope that a helmet will be a part of the city bike concept in the not to distant future. If there will be obligatory to wear head protection when riding a bike in the future, it will have to be in place, he says.
The focus ought to be on being well equipped in case of an accident.
– The city bike is superb idea. It’s an effective manner of getting around, it is friendly to the environment and it is even good for the health. But a cyclist is always a soft participant in traffic, therefore a helmet can be absolutely crucial if involved in an accident, says Slettemoen.
Large gaps in statistics regarding bicycle accidents
The risk of dying or being severely injured in traffic is eight times higher for pedestrians and 13 times higher for cyclists than for car drivers. This is according to statistics from Safe Traffic. There are however large gaps in the statistics. Only one in 13 biking accidents is reported, according to a survey conducted for the Oslo Emergency room in 2015.
– Are Norwegian cities well adapted to cyclists?
– There is still a long way to go before all the larger cities are well-suited for cyclists in general including city bikes. Here the cyclists must be prioritized higher when urban development is planned. City developers have to wear “bike glasses” to create systems that safeguard cyclists to a greater extent than is the case today, says Paal-Gunnar Mathisen in Safe Traffic.
How to chose the correct bicycle helmet
- Find a helmet that fits your head and your needs
- Make sure that the helmet is approved according to European standards – look for CE and EN 1078 logos
- Choose a helmet that you actually wish to use
- Make sure the helmet is seated correctly
- Remember to actually wear a helmet every time you go for a bike ride
© Frende Forsikring /Trygg Trafikk / #Norway Today