Perhaps you’ve already heard about the new inflatable, invisible safety helmets called Hövding. Two European entrepreneurs realized Swedish cyclists are reluctant to wear helmets and are critical of the possibility they might be made mandatory for adult cyclists. So they redesigned the traditional helmet in to something they felt would make helmets more appealing to adult cyclists. Unlike a traditional helmet, the Hövding doesn’t sit on your head. Instead, it’s a fabric collar that is wrapped around your neck and snapped on. If an accident happens, the Hövding’s sensors detect abnormal movement in the cyclist and trigger an airbag in the collar to pop out, inflate in 0.1 seconds, and cover the cyclist’s head. The helmet is a one-time use. If the airbag triggers, it’s suggested the user sends it back to the company so they can collect the data from the “black box” hidden inside the collar about the specific bike accident or error. The helmet has been certified and approved for use in Europe — but not in Canada — and has been on the market for close to a year. One Hövding sells for about $600.00. Jeremy Axon, manager at Urbane Cyclist, isn’t convinced of how safe or practical the invisible helmet is and I am inclined to agree with him. First of all, air bags sometimes fail to inflate. Would you want to risk a serious head injury on the off chance your inflatable helmet fails? As well, a major barrier to its success is the price tag. $600.00 is a lot of money to spend on something that can only sustain one crash. Personally, I’ll stick to the traditional safety helmets sold in North America even if it means a bit of “hat head”. What do you think? Have you been hearing all of the hype about this product too?
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