Over the years, I've known more than a couple of folks who died from head injuries, from riding with no helmet on. One guy I know sustained a
[B]fatal brain injury[/B] when his [B]bike slid out from under him[/B], in his yard, [B]at about walking speed![/B] At the time,
[B]HE WAS WEARING[/B] A HELMET- although, it was only [B]one of those 19.00, novelty-type peanut helmets[/B]. This article immediately brought his accident to mind. Certainly food for thought.
"The only thing between your head and the asphalt when you lay down your bike is a bit of styrofoam and a hard plastic shell. ItÔÇÖs a setup that hasnÔÇÖt changed much since its adoption last century, but a new helmet design coming next year has the potential to nearly eliminate one of the most common motorcyclist brain injuries.
Helmets on the market today work well for big, high-speed crashes, but styrofoam canÔÇÖt do much to cushion your head from a low-velocity impact. Nine mph is the magic number, meaning that the helmet is impacting a surface at that speed ÔÇö as opposed to the rider falling at that velocity. Most helmets are good for that, where force hits your dome with about 120g. The problem is, most concussions happen at about 60g, and oddly, the typical helmet isnÔÇÖt very good at dissipating an impact at slow speeds.
6D Helmets, a small company based in California, has created a brain bucket that dissipates low-speed impact with basic physics. Between two styrofoam layers, hourglass-shaped dampeners let the two pieces move independently, so when an impact occurs ÔÇô especially from an odd angle ÔÇô the energy will dissipate evenly around the riderÔÇÖs head.
Besides the new interior bits, the helmet has a few other thoughtful safety features. The sides of the helmet, which would normally push down and hit your collarbone (fractures south of the neck are common) detach and break away, while the chin section has extra padding to prevent sternum injuries from a face plant, and the screws inside collapse so the impact doesnÔÇÖt force your head sideways, cranking your neck Exorcist-style.
The stats on the 6D show promise. For a 4.5 mph impact, a typical helmet gives about 79g of force to the riderÔÇÖs head, while the 6D hits with only 49g. The motocross models will go on sale in February, and while pricing hasnÔÇÖt been announced, expect an MSRP of around $745. Not a bad price to keep your gray matter in check."
Here's another innovative helmet design