October 19, 2010

Instead of a bike helmet...

... a head airbag.

24 comments:

Expat(ish) said...

I have to take Obama or Biden when I ride?

Bada-boom.

-XC

PS - Anyone else get a whiff of Sleeper?

El Pollo Real said...

Three cheers for azides

MadisonMan said...

I can't see the video, so I'll ask: If you eject from your bike onto, say, gravel, does the airbag pop?

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

MadisonMan,

Yes. I was prepared to make snarky comments. I didn't see how it could work.

Then I saw the video. It's impressive, and it works. Somebody put a lot of effort into this design.

Frankly, if you're worried about collisions, I would still just get a helmet. There have to be circumstances where this won't deploy -- or where it will deploy by mistake. And I think the collar looks about as dorky as a good helmet. But this is quite a feat.

Sixty Grit said...

Helmets and airbags and seat belts for bikes. Euro safety Nazis know best.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

I used to scoff at bicycle helmets until I got flipped over the length of a car at a intersection one day.

I received no serious injury except a good banging up and a 6 inch gash on the right side of my head well inside the hairline.

Now I don't leave the driveway without one.

The video for this airbag looks like it works pretty well.

Robt C said...

Maybe a better name for it would be "Airhead."

k*thy said...

Intreging, but I think I'll stay with my helmet, thanks.

rhhardin said...

Far from being a problem in hot weather, a bike helmet keeps the sun off your head, resulting in a large net cooling.

traditionalguy said...

Can it go off like a garage door opener when the radio frequency is hit? I would like for someone else to test it out for a few years first. How about it?

edutcher said...

Chris Coons could certainly use one.

John Burgess said...

As it relies on motion detectors, other than an circuit fault, it'd be hard to get a false release. I'm sure there are some who use their bikes in stunty ways that could trigger it, but for most riders it would seem to work when intended.

MadisonMan said...

I've cracked a helmet once. I was going east on Dayton, just having come out from under the arch and crossing Randall, when a pedestrian stepped into the bike lane in front of the old fire station (but nowhere near the Crosswalk). She didn't even look as she started jaywalking. I did my very best not to level her -- I won't do that again, next time: SPLAT -- and went arse over teakettle over the handlebars as the bike flipped. She was uninjured and hurried away (I still remember seeing her almost running away and just feeling disgusted at her behavior).

My helmet cracked in two. I didn't even have a headache, although my body was wicked sore for a couple days. That was back when my bones weren't brittle from age :)

Lesson: Wear your helmet. Fear idiot pedestrians.

c3 said...

Chic!

WV: mogulgal. Yes she could use one too when skiing.

Ann Althouse said...

@MM I had a pedestrian veer around and without looking, walk right into my bike the other day. I was barely moving, and nothing happened but it was disturbing.

Ann Althouse said...

Shouldn't pedestrians wear helmets?

Anyway... I'm not convinced helmets are important. I see all these helmetless young people on mopeds, and, of course, the pedestrians are helmetless, and I wonder why I'm bothering with a helmet.

I mean, we have skulls. And if we hit our heads hard enough our brains hit the inside of our skulls, which can kill us, and no helmet prevents that.

Expat(ish) said...

@Ann on helmet unimportance.

Can I have your camera when you pass?

Trust me, helmets will save you, if nothing else, a whole ton of stitches. They are kind of like super-gloves, and we all know that falling with gloves on is 100x preferable to falling without.

-XC

rhhardin said...

You need helmets in cars more than on bikes.

I wear mine for sun shading in summer and warmth in winter.

Mine is surely a very fragile helmet by now - it was new in 1975. Plastic doesn't get stronger with age.

But its thermal properties are unaffected.

The helmet used to have the advantage of being very unusual, which kept cars from pulling out in front of you on the theory that you might be going very fast.

But nowadays everybody has them and so they don't have that effect.

If you happen to hit your head and happen to be wearing one, the fracture of the helmet takes up some energy that otherwise would have rattled your brain; but that doesn't happen a lot.

Mostly you skin your palms and elbows.

I haven't crashed since 1980 or so, at 8000 miles a year.

That was a front tire going flat - and if you have wide tires, the lesson was, stop immediately for flat front tires. The rim steers around inside the loose tire, and that reverses the correction needed for balancing, which means you'll fall over very fast.

Narrow front tires don't have that dangerous property.

Sixty Grit said...

Over the course of several years and at several different places of employment, 4 of my coworkers came off their bicycles, hit their head on the ground while not wearing helmets and all sustained brain injuries. They were not improved people when they recovered. One almost died, but he survived, slow witted, his speech slurred, his eyes not tracking very well. These were all relatively low speed crashes - the kind that one might have while riding around a neighborhood. The risk is enormous, so you should use whatever means you can to protect your head.

If a helmet costs 30 or 40 bucks, is your brain not worth that much? I see every rider's individual answer whenever I see a bicyclist. I would not ride even 5 feet on my bicycle without a helmet, and over the years I rode tens of thousands of miles through some of the most beautiful parts of this country. Managed to never hit my head on anything, even while riding some insane downhills, but did skin my elbow once and I landed on my hip once when the bike had a mechanical failure. Other than that - no problems, but I was prepared.

Wear a helmet or don't wear one, just don't expect me to be your attendant when you end up drooling on yourself, wearing a diaper, living in a home like hdhouse.

John Burgess said...

Florida is one of the states that does mandate helmets for motorcyclists. I'm fine with that, but I'd prefer a guarantee that when a helmetless rider splats his head that he die rather than become a ward of the state in a hospital. Unfortunately, current law does not permit helmetless bikers to waive future medical treatment resulting from their accidents.

Bicycle helmets are only required for riders <16.

John Burgess said...

Correction: FL does not mandate motorcycle helmets. Just bike helmets for kids <16.

AST said...

I kept wondering if it had the impact of a car airbag, and whether they had one for motorcycles.

Kirk Parker said...

"And if we hit our heads hard enough our brains hit the inside of our skulls, which can kill us, and no helmet prevents that"

Au contraire! You see that softer stuff on the inside of the helmet? The exact function of that is to crush when the impact is hard enough, spreading the deceleration over a longer period of time and thus reducing the peak intensity. Yes, of course, you can still receive an impact too hard to survive, but the helmet shifts that point upwards on the energy curve.

dbp said...

Great! Something even more stupid looking than a normal helmet. Probably required wear someday too.