If there is but one constant it’s that motorcycle riding can be a risky pastime. Whether you ride a Honda or Harley, Ducati or Yamaha, if you get into a crash situation with a four-wheeler or semi tractor-trailer you’ll need a lot of luck to avoid an injury. And, the faster you are going at the time will also determine your odds of receiving serious injuries such as broken bones, road rash or a skull fracture.
As a Baltimore motorcycle accident lawyer, I represent riders who have been injured as a result of another person’s negligence. I know from experience that bikers involved in bad highway collisions can have a long road to recovery — not just physically, but financially. Unfortunately, many riders are killed outright when hit by a larger passenger car or sport utility vehicle.
Well, there may be hope for better protection for riders in the future. According to a recent article, there is a new product that might reduce motorcycle crash injuries and even fatalities. The makers call it the Armored Air Jacket and it is supposed to improve bikers’ chances of surviving a bad crash.
The system works by incorporating a system of airbags into specially-designed jacket. According to the manufacturer, Armored Air Jackets are equipped with a small compressed carbon dioxide cartridge attached via a so-called “ripcord” the other end of which is attached to the bike, much the same way in that the throttle-kill ripcord is attached to a jet ski or snowmobile.
When the ripcord is pulled it activates the cartridge which in turn inflates the airbag system within the jacket, which occurs in about a half-second. The manufacturer says that the inflated airbag provides “an armor-like layer of extra protection to the most vulnerable areas of the body.”
If it functions as advertised, this system could be a great piece of safety wear. In the event of a crash, where the rider is thrown from the bike, the system is claimed to help protect the rider’s neck, chest, back, ribs and spine against impacts from another object or the roadway.
Apparently there have already been some real-world tests. Based on one account, the manufacturer says that the system likely helped lessen the injuries of one Maryland motorcycle rider who was cut off by a motorist in Baltimore and then thrown from his bike about 100 feet and hitting the ground at 70mph. The rider, who was wearing an Armored Air Jacket, reportedly received only an injured hand, soreness, scrapes and bruises.
Airbags For Motorcyclists: Armored Air Jackets Provide Wearable Protection, Newsblaze.com, June 29, 2010