Helite, a company based in the UK, has developed a revolutionary safety vest called the Turtle for motorcycle riders. This is by no means any ordinary riding vest, but rather a cutting-edge vest with an airbag built into it. This jacket incorporates what Helite calls as “Turtle Technology” as it protects the wearer from physical injury just like a turtle’s shell. The airbag vest is coupled with a back protector. The combination allows the vest to work just like a helmet, with a hard layer outside, and soft layer inside. The layer-like configuration results in better resistance towards sharp and pointy objects that a rider may encounter during a crash, such as broken motorcycle parts, glass shards, fences, or poles.
A typical airbag jacket contains a gas canister filled with CO2, a piston with a sharp edged top, a spring, and a multi directional key ball. When the rider experiences an accident, the key ball is detached. This causes the spring to expand, causing the piston to rise up and pierce the gas chamber at the top. As a result, CO2 gas causes the airbag to expand instantaneously, thereby inflating the jacket in a fraction of a second before the rider falls to the ground.
To sum it up, wearing a motorcycle airbag has the following advantages:
· Minimised risk of serious injury to internal organs
· Keeps the head aligned with the neck and spine to avoid spine hyper-flexion injury
· Absorbs and distributes the force of impact over the surface area of the airbag to minimize impact trauma
If this airbag technology becomes cost effective, it could go a long way in reducing risk of serious injury to riders. For more details about the Helite Airbag Jacket, check out their website: http://www.helite-motorcycle-airbagjackets.co.uk/