Riding a motorbike is fun, but only safe if you are wearing safety gears. Often people debate about the use of helmets, but it is an undeniable fact they have and can save lives. However, they have got a very long history and it was not that safe as it is today.
The present-day motorcycle helmets have undergone many different changes due to advanced technology. Helmets that you get today are quite safe for motorcycle riders. Furthermore, helmet laws also have evolved because more research has been done on it, and this safety gear has merged as the most import support for the riders. You can also check it online.
The invention of a crash helmet
It all started with highly decorated British army person called T.E. Lawrence who participated in the first world war, died at the age of 46 due to a motorcycle crash in 1935. A film was created about his military career based on his own writing. This had made him famous, but even being a legendry military person, he could not survive a motorcycle crash.
This British Officer was popular as the ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. He was a national hero, who died in a motorcycle crash that accentuated the risk of bike riding without proper gear.
His death was mourned by many, and that also includes a neurosurgeon called Dr. Hugh Cairns. The doctor was deeply affected by the death of Lawrence. So, he started researching the reasons for the death due to motorcycle accidents.
It was discovered that brain lesions of the accidents were due to not wearing a protective helmet. The repercussion of this case study was that helmets became mandatory in 1941 for British Army’s motorbike riders. It can be said that the first official law for protecting motorcyclists’ heads became mandatory during the II World War.
The evolution and revolution from pudding bowl to hi-tech helmets
In 1953, motorbikes speed led to an increase in crashes and subsequent deaths. In such situations, Professor C.F. Lombard from the University of Southern California created the first shock-absorbing motorbike helmet.
It was the first patented modern motorcycle helmet designed for riding at high speed. The exterior was a tough shell, whereas the inner had a couple of padding layers. The internal layer easily absorbed and dispersed the shock impact. However, those helmet models were not much effective.
Around the same time, Bell Autoparts owner Bell Richter witnessed serious injuries to his racing team. In 1954, he set a helmet division in his wooden garage and created the Bell 500 helmet. In 1957, Bell 500 TX an upgraded version goes into production. It is an iconic ‘jet style’ headgear that revolutionized the helmet sector.
The primary helmet designs were further improved by using different materials that were lighter, and more layers were put to increase its strength and durability. Furthermore, as technology advanced, computer testing made it simpler for manufacturers to test their quality and effectiveness.
In 1967, Bell strikes again developed ‘The Bell Star’, the first full-face helmet. It transformed the helmet’s future forever. Evel Knievel, a stunt drier wore and popularized it. Peter Fonda also wore it in the ‘Easy Rider’, and thus now helmets have become a fashion accessory.
Helmet materials and designs haven’t changed much since Bell Star introduced full-face gear. Today, helmet wearing is more about style than construction and safety. In the 1970s metal flake helmets were cool, but the trend becomes a little warm in the 80s, where the tendency starts to follow fashion hints from track heroes. Signature models like Kenny Roberts AGV became popular.
The last decade witnessed a drift in the past, the vintage helmets. The new biker tribes made the jet style reappear on the scene and British firms started producing attractive replicas of these original icons.
Motorcycling has become a practical commuter alternative, so the demand for stylish and practical helmets has also increased. ‘The Modular’ is available in an open and full-face style. These helmets are a blend of practicality, comfort, durability, and safety for modern bike riders.
The advanced HUD or head-up display is the newest thing, which has transformed the motorbike helmet into a video game or sci-fi movie. These hi-tech lids are focused on HUD software innovations and screen design. It is a unique and different approach that you need to watch out for. It can revolutionize the modest skid lid.
Now with present-day technology and with superior materials production, the latest available helmets have become very effective and also important while saving lives that almost all states have made it mandatory to use while riding a motorcycle.
The history of helmet laws
During the early sixties, as research started emerging about the enhanced safety and effectiveness of helmet usage, the US government took major steps to lower the number of deaths occurred due to motorcycle ride.
In the year 1966, the Highway Safety Act was cleared. Based on this act, all states had to mandate helmet use if they wanted to get federal funding for their highways. During the same year, the American National Safety Standard for Motorcycle Helmets was formed, which is an organization that created proper standards for manufacturing helmets.
In the year 1968, officially the great helmet debate started when Michigan first time repealed its helmet law. Due to this a domino effect started that led to many states lobbying congress for stopping financially penalizing those states having no helmet laws during 1976.
Even today, the helmet laws are controversial, but only 3 states have got no laws for using helmets while riding, and these states are – Iowa, Illinois, and New Hampshire.
Today’s motorcycle helmet’s safety
The motorcycle helmets are developed in state-of-art facilities. Safety is not the most essential factor, even comfort is. Currently, the helmets are designed from Kevlar composites and carbon fibers.
The materials are lightweight yet can manage high impact resistance. Every motorcycle helmet needs to pass various homologations like DOT standard in the US and ECE 22.05 in Europe. The certification reveals that the helmets are tested thoroughly for strength and have passed.
In 2019, a law got passed that professional riders need to wear helmets with FIM homologation from International Motorcycling Federation. There is constant study and development of motorcycle helmets so that bikers ride much safer.
Gear up well for guaranteed maximum safety!