An exciting new product in motorcycle safety is emerging in Thailand, where 80% of road accident deaths have occurred on a motorcycle. The result of this alarming statistic has brought the Thai Health Promotion Foundation to create the HELPMET! This foundation has designed a helmet, appropriately renamed the helpmet, in an attempt to lessen these motorcycle fatalities by increasing the odds of not only locating injured motorcyclists, but sending help immediately without the need for an emergency call.
It is clear that some riders just don’t like wearing helmets; in states that do not require helmet use by law, that is no problem. However, the controversy is obvious – whether you WANT to wear a helmet or not, it will keep you safer than the latter. There are currently 19 states that require helmet use by law for everyone on a motorcycle, most riders know this if they travel from state to state on their bike. Other states have partial helmet laws, usually requiring people under the age of 17-20 to wear helmets; and then there are states, like Illinois, New Hampshire and Iowa, that do not require any head protection. Now, it doesn’t matter where you live, each rider has his or her opinion on whether or not they want to wear a helmet – and that is the final deciding factor. But when you are flying 90 miles per hour down the expressway and get blind-sided by an erratic driver, I’m sure you will wish you had a helmet – even better a Helpmet! Not only does a helpmet protect the most important part of your body from severe damage, but it will notify the nearest EMS of your accident and location. For someone who has experienced loss due to motorcycle accidents, this is something that could change lives forever.. or at least keep them alive.
The helmet prototype has several features to assist riders in the event of an emergency. The helpmet has an impact detection device that sends an SMS message to a National Emergency Center which includes the rider’s location via GPS. Furthermore, with a shock impact sensor, if the impacting detecting helmet measures a 95 g-force or higher, EMS knows that the odds are the victim is unconscious and unable to ask for help. A SIM card in the helpmet will also provide information such as name, birth date, blood type, medical history, insurance information and other important information to help EMS identify and properly treat the victim. Something like this has never been an option for riders before and it a sure bet to decrease the amount of motorcycle fatalities. Any experienced rider will tell you that safety begins with the proper protection – exposed areas of the body can be subject to road rash if thrown from the moving bike. From the boots to the helmet, every aspect of rider protection should be taken seriously and done so with a lot of consideration. Safety should be the first priority when riding because money well spent is spent on something that could quite possibly save your life.
Even though we cannot control the drivers around us, motorcyclists can control their own safety. Defensive driving includes expecting the unexpected and preparing for the worst – although it may seem pessimistic, the elephant in the room must come in to play eventually. We are talking about a helmet that can send your information to the closest ambulance so they can come and save your life when you are unconscious!! There really is no question that the helpmet is a life-changing factor in the riding experience, so let’s put protection with rationality and put the helpmet to use.
The helpmet could even begin to change rider’s minds about wearing a helmet in the first place. It’s never too late to hop on the safety bandwagon – you’ll look a lot cooler riding that motorcycle with a head!
Since the helpmet is currently in the prototype stage – there are many helmets to choose from and if you are wearing one for safety here are some important facts you should know:
SNELL approved helmets have the highest safety ratings – They are approved by the Snell Memorial Foundation and are a voluntary testing agency.
DOT approved helmets are those approved by the department of transportation and therefore are not as stringent as the Snell testing.
Some helmets can boast both SNELL and DOT approved – those brands include:
- Speed & Strength
Note that all the models made by these brands are not both DOT and SNELL approved – but all of them are either SNELL or DOT approved.
There are also many helmets out there that do not meet any standards – are just for looks – or are purchased as cheaply as possible to use while driving in a helmet law state….. so if you are required to wear a helmet, why not wear a safe helmet – how much is your head worth to you? A $30 helmet may keep you from getting a ticket – but a $300 helmet might just save your life.