Jeremy Thurman on December 13, 2011
As an Oklahoma motorcycle accident attorney we assist several clients who have been injured in motorcycle accidents. Unfortunately, because motorcycles don’t offer the same protections as cars (seat belts, air bags, enclosure to prevent ejection), these types of accidents are often devastating and deadly. That’s why we’re encouraged when we hear of advances being made in the realm of motorcycle safety. The latest? A wearable air bag.
Motorcycle manufacturer Honda actually produced a model with an airbag that inflated in front of the rider. The problem with this is that air bags inflate at a high rate of speed, which produces quite a bit of force. In a car, passengers have the seat backs to keep them in place when an air bag inflates in front of them. On a motorcycle, with nothing behind the rider, an air bag inflating can just as easily eject the rider from the bike as the impact of an accident can.
To remedy this, two companies have come out with wearable air bags. They look like regular jackets, but can inflate within seconds to protect a rider from sustaining injuries during a crash. One model requires a tether to be connected to the motorcycle, which can cause issues if the rider forgets to disconnect the tether before dismounting. The other uses internal sensors to detect impact, there by inflating the jacket.
Both jackets cost thousands of dollars, and are not yet available in the United States. But as they’re more thoroughly tested, and they become more prevalent, the cost will go down, which means we could see a dramatic reduction in the number of injuries and deaths caused by motorcycle accidents.
What do you think? Would you wear an inflatable jacket while riding a motorcycle?