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During a recent visit to Paris, New York Times environmental reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal rode a bike from the city’s Velib bike sharing program without a helmet!
And she had an inspiration: bike ridership in the U.S. could increase if people didn’t wear helmets.
Rosenthal says that riding without a helmet is common in Europe, and she thinks it’s safer for daily commuters.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that helmet reduces head injury risk by 85 percent. And the group found that 91 percent of bicyclists killed in 2009 weren’t wearing helmets.
But Rosenthal says she’s advocating helmet-less bike riding in urban bike sharing programs, because the chances of suffering a severe head injury while riding 5 miles per hour through city streets is less likely.