Research Proposal: Bicycle Helmet in NYC

Pages: 10 (2968 words)  ·  Style: Chicago  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Transportation  ·  Buy This Paper

Bicycles and Bicycle Safety on the Streets of New York City

Many people wish to ride a bicycle in New York City as a fast, reliable, time convenient, sustainable, and money-saving mode of transportation. But some negative concerns, difficulties, predictable dangers block those potential bicycle riders to give up this wonderful mode of transportation. According to research regarding this fast growing mode of transportation, there are many fact that influence bicycle riders to give up this popular mode of transportation in New York City. "The number of city bike riders jumped by 35% within a year's time -- making some wonder if New York is big enough for 8 million people, a couple of million cars, and about 185,000 cyclists." (Melago). And also "some 225 cyclists were hit and killed by cars in the city from 1996 to 2005, while another 3,462 suffered serious injuries in crashes with motor vehicles." (Melago). Furthermore, almost 75% of serious and fatal injuries in bicycle accidents are due to head injuries. It is because of the danger of injury and possibility death that many people give up riding a bicycle through the streets of New York City. However, those who do choose to ride their bicycles, know the importance of always wearing a helmet and other proper and protective bicycle gear.

Bicycling is one of the most popular modes of transportation in New York City today. Not only is it more cost-efficient than a car, it is also a great way to exercise and keep the human body in great shape. In addition, it is also very green and energy efficient. As more and more people begin to ride their bicycles around the streets in New York City, there are less and less cars on the streets and on the freeway. Traffic is becoming much more flowing and less automobile wrecks are occurring.

No matter what type of bicycle a person is riding, it is highly beneficial for a person's health. Riding a bicycle is a great aerobic exercise that builds muscle strength and endurance. It also increases the heart rate and this can help improve blood flow throughout the body and prevent many vascular diseases such as clogged arteries and other blood flow problems. In addition, it helps a person to lose a lot of weight and through frequent bike riding, one is more likely to keep off the excess weight. Research shows that people who ride their bicycles weekly are less prone to diseases and colds and they experience a lot less stress in the activities of their daily personal and professional lives. Bicycle riding is a healthy way to get around New York City.

Cost is one of the main reasons why many people in New York City choose to ride their bicycles instead of driving their automobiles. People ride bicycles to work, to a friends house, to the store, or simply just for fun to see the wonderful scenery of New York City. They also ride them in all types of weather. They choose to ride their bicycles because they do not have to spend money in gasoline, car maintenance, and auto repairs. It is much cheaper to repair and maintain a bicycle than it is maintain and repair a car. Purchasing a new bike can also be expensive, but it does not even come close to the cost of purchasing a car. Of course, one can buy a used car, but in the long run, a used car is more likely to break down and cost more in repairs. Therefore, purchasing, maintaining, and repairing a bicycle is the most affordable and economical way to get around New York City.

The ozone is something that is on a lot of people's minds nowadays. The ozone layer in the sky is slowly depleting and if this happens, then the Earth can easily burn up. One of the factors contributing to the depletion of the ozone layer is the emissions coming from the car. With more and more cars driving on the streets of New York City, the pollution in the air from the exhaust systems on the cars is contributing to the depletion of the ozone layer. In addition, cars and buses pollute the air in many different ways. Riding a bicycle in place of driving car is an energy efficient and "green" choose. It eliminates the cars from the road and stops the emissions from polluting the air. If everyone rode a bike in New York City just for one day, people would be surprised at the level of pollution in the air that is expelled from cars and buses. It is the responsibility of the people to protect the planet Earth and make it a clean, safer place for future generations. Therefore, many people choose to ride their bicycle in New York City than drive their cars.

It is estimated that somewhere around 200,000 people ride a bicycle in New York City on a daily basis. With the increase of bicycles on the street in New York City, the statistics of bicycle related accidents rose. Approximately 75% of all head injuries from a bicycle wreck is the result of not wearing a helmet. Many times, New York City has tried to make helmets a law. If one is riding a bike, then they should also be wearing the proper helmet at all times. (Melago). Bicycle/auto related injuries and accidents also increased with the growing number of bicycles on the street. "Some 225 cyclists were hit and killed by cars in the city from 1996 to 2005, while another 3,462 suffered serious injuries in crashes with motor vehicles." (Melago). Bicycle accidents that resulted in death are also on the rise in New York. Sometimes, bicycles are hit by oncoming traffic and the rider is thrown from the bike and is killed. It is also known that bicycle riders who have accidents resulting in death generally do not have a protective helmet on their head.

"Bicycle deaths by helmet use, 1994-2005

No helmet Total*

Year Num % Num % Num

1994 776 97-19 2 796

1995 783 95-34 4 828

1996 731 96-27 4 761

1997 785 97-23 3 811

1998 741 98-16 2 757

1999 698 93-42 6 750

2000 622 90-50 7 689

2001 616 84-60 8 729

2002 589 89-54 8 663

2003 527 85-57 9 619

2004 602 83-87-12 722

2005 673 86-76-10 782

*Total includes other and/or unknowns (Helmet laws for bicycle riders)

The bottom line is that helmets save lives and every person riding a bicycle in New York City should also wear a helmet.

With the rapidly growing number of cyclists on cruising down the streets of New York City, the importance of wearing a helmet comes to mind for many people. There are several reasons why a cyclist would choose to wear or not to wear a helmet while their ride their bicycles. Some state that they wear it for safety and protection. One is less likely to suffer a head injury if they have a wreck. Others may wear helmets because they want to be a role model for the proper way to ride a bicycle. Many children ride bikes or they watch people ride bikes in New York City. If the children see adults wearing bicycle helmets, then they are more likely to always a helmet as well.

There are also some reasons why a bicycle rider would choose not to wear a helmet. One of the biggest reason is that the bicyclist does not want the helmet to mess up their hair style. They fear that wearing a helmet while riding their bike will give them "helmet head" and the shape of the helmet will be noticeable in their hair. This is especially true for those people who are riding a bicycle to work or school. Another reason that people do not wear a helmet is because they do not own one and/or they do not have the money to purchase a helmet. Still yet, others do not wear a helmet simply because they do not want to be bothered with the hassle of carrying it around while not riding the bike and they also do not want the hassle of putting it on and taking it off. One should always wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. It may just save the cyclist's life. Helmets should always be worn when riding a bicycle.

When riding a bicycle, a rider should pay very close attention to the equipment that he/she is wearing. A helmet is the most important piece of safety equipment that a person riding a bicycle can wear. It is something that could possibly save the cyclist's life if he/she were to wreck the bicycle. Other safety equipment includes things such as knee and elbow pads, a side mirror mounted onto the bike so that the cyclists can see behind, a light or reflectors so that the bicycle can be seen very clearly by other motorist, and protective… [END OF PREVIEW]

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