This life safety issue is pretty weighty and quite meaningful, (and thankfully, not something for us to do on TextBlade).
Beyond the personal choices we each face as individuals, this topic also plays out in certain emergent business models.
Have a look at the explosion in bike and scooter rental networks. Uber, Lyft, Bird and Lime are all very active in this space. Over a billion dollars of capital already chasing this space.
In principle, there should be a lot to like about clean, compact transport for $0.15 a minute.
But there’s a problem, and it’s a big one.
In practice, no one who rents these things uses a helmet. It’s very close to zero.
By its nature, you don’t plan ahead, you just grab and go. So you didn’t bring your helmet, and it’s very tough to secure a helmet to the rental bike, or deal with hygiene for wearable accessories.
So it doesn’t get done. And these are in the worst possible venues for accidents - high density downtown areas with lots of traffic, many doors flinging open, and very little room for error.
So in this space, you have a safety issue that will likely kill these rental business models.
I recently grabbed one of the Uber e-bikes for a short hop, and it was great. But I ended it quickly.
99 cents, and all I could think about was how I was just one misstep away from my skull hitting the concrete. It was simply not worth it.
For me, the rental product can’t really work because the risk is just too high. And they don’t seem to have a clear path to solve it.
Most people using it now are blithely laughing off the risk. Except when they end up in a coma.