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Few cyclists don helmets at Hubway

Head injuries a risk for bike-share users

The nine-month-old bike-share program in Boston offers 600 bicycles at 61 stations, but the program, called Hubway, lacks one important safety feature: helmets for rent. That could explain why fewer than 1 in 5 bike-sharers are using them, compared with more than half of those who ride their own bikes throughout the city, according to a study published Monday.

Researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center observed more than 3,000 bicyclists in Boston and Washington, D.C., including 562 who were riding shared bicycles through city programs. Only 19 percent of those on shared bikes wore helmets, while 51 percent of those riding their own bikes had headgear, the authors reported in the journal Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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