Every year, hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists take to the roads throughout the United States to experience the thrill and freedom offered by the open road.
Unfortunately, a large number of these motorcyclists also end up in serious accidents every year, suffering life-changing brain injuries despite wearing a helmet and traveling at relatively low speeds.
How exactly does this happen?
According to safety experts, the problem can be largely attributed to the design of the traditional motorcycle helmet. Specifically, they are constructed of a hard plastic shell and a shell liner made of an expanded polystyrene foam that is designed to absorb the energy of a collision by being crushed.
However, safety experts indicate that this energy absorption/crushing of the foam often fails to occur at low speeds, meaning the shock from the collision is passed directly to the skull and the rider can suffer a severe concussion.
Interestingly, a California-based helmet company is in the process of developing helmet technology that they hope will help eliminate brain injuries in both high-speed and low-speed collisions.
6D Helmets is currently selling an innovative helmet for off-road riders that is comprised of both the aforementioned hard plastic shell and interior polystyrene foam liner, as well as another polystyrene foam liner suspended between these two layers.
The company claims that this additional liner, which is suspended between the two layers by small rubber shock absorbers -- allows the two foam liners to move independently. This, in turn, serves to both reduce a rider's head rotation in an accident and reduce the impact of low-speed collisions that would otherwise lack the necessary force to crush the innermost foam lining.
6D's helmets -- which are about the same size as a traditional helmet and cost $750 -- are only offered for off-road bikers. However, the company has indicated that they are still legal for use on roads and have been certified by the Transportation Department. Furthermore, it is currently adapting the technology to cover all motor sports, as well as athletic helmets.
If you have suffered unimaginable pain or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence of another driver here in Tennessee, consider speaking with a dedicated, compassionate and experienced legal professional to learn how to secure the justice you deserve.
Source: The New York Times, "A two-level approach to protecting riders' head in impacts," Roy Furchgott, Oct. 11, 2013