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New Era of Safety? Airbags for Cyclists Endorsed by Stanford University

By Monica Buck

The idea of helmet airbags is nothing new as the Swedish company Hövding has been manufacturing them since 2005. The product has never hit the mainstream market, though, and maybe it is time to change that. At least the researchers at Stanford University seem to think so. They published a study in the renowned scientific journal Annals of Biomedical Engineering claiming that helmet airbags are “near perfect” in terms of protection against concussion and other head injuries.

Not many people are aware of the fact that even with a traditional helmet on, you’re still very likely to get a head injury in case of a crash. For example, when travelling at 25 km/h, the risk of serious head injury is staggering 90%. The airbag we mentioned above is supposed to give cyclists 8 times better protection than that. That is a massive improvement.

“The Hövding airbag is designed in accordance with requirements, materials and methods from the automotive industry, which provides world class protection for your head. Now that a prestigious research institution like Stanford University has published a report demonstrating that the level of protection provided by Hövding far exceeds that of traditional bicycle helmets, it gives us and our customers more confidence and provides further confirmation of Hövding’s superior protection,” says Hövding CEO Fredrik Carling.

So how does this whole thing work? The system records cyclists’ movements multiple times a second and immediately inflates the airbag in case of an accident. The question is whether this will be enough for the sometimes very conservative cycling crowd. What do you think about it? Would you consider using a helmet airbag?