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Bicycling Is Popular -- Helmets, Not As Much

(CBS) -- Most of us would never let a child ride a bike without a helmet. Yet more adults are skipping this important safety step, and the consequence can be grim.

CBS 2's Roseanne Tellez reports.

Helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 87 percent. But not everyone wears one.

A new study found in cities like Chicago with bike-sharing programs, head injuries from bike accidents increased 8 percent.

John Hruska, 58, spent two months in the hospital, temporarily paralyzed after he bumped a curb on his bike, lost a tire and flipped.

"I looked like I had been dragged behind a truck," he says of his injuries.

Dr. James Doherty is one of a group of trauma surgeons at Advocate Christ Medical Center calling on cyclists to wear helmets. He hopes bike-sharing programs would provide them.

"The addition of a helmet can protect your brain significantly from injury," he says. "I understand why people make that choice, but i think it's a bad choice. If you should do it for your child, you should do it for yourself."

Divvy representatives say they are exploring options for people to rent helmets for Chicago's bike-sharing program. There's no law requiring them.

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