Considered to be the safest bike headgear, the Airbag Helmet is a neck collar with an inflatable airbag fitted inside for the safety of riders. It does not look like the traditional helmets that cover your head when wearing them.
Instead, you have to wrap this collar around the neck, and it forms the safety covering around your head on sensing a crash or accident. As per several studies, this helmet has been affirmed as six times safer than traditional helmets in reducing crash impact; wondering how?
Let us dig deeper.
How does Airbag Helmet Work?
The working principle of the Airbag helmet is solely based on the airbags used in our cars, which react to accidents within milliseconds. The Airbag helmet includes a couple of sensors (accelerometer & gyrometer) and an airbag fitted in the collar device worn while riding.
It can readily sense the aberrant movements of the biker through particular parameters, such as changes in acceleration, speed, angle, etc. Besides, it assesses the situation constantly by calculating these parameters via algorithmic abilities, i.e., nearly 200 times every second.
After sensing that the biker is going to crash, the helmet opens the Airbag in about 100ms or 0.1 seconds. On opening, it swiftly & efficiently forms a protective hood around the head, filled with high-pressure air.
“The helmet is said to have the best impact absorption and protection mechanism against the rotational forces in an accident.”
Who Should Buy an Airbag Helmet?
Talking plainly, everyone concerned about their life should always go for the best alternative out in the market.
As per the recent tests and studies, the Airbag helmet has surely been affirmed to provide the best safety results compared to regular helmets. Individuals who love to be safe or have a fragile head due to some recent accidents should always consider this helmet.
However, there is one thing that the helmet is still under research and development program. Thus, you can wait for the official launch of these helmets by various companies in your country.
Till that time, the cost will reduce, and the reliability factor will increase.
What is the cost of an Airbag Helmet? Is it Worth Buying?
The inclusion of the various types of sensors and inflating mechanism (pumping system) increases the effective cost of an Airbag helmet compared to traditional ones.
Here is the list of airbag helmets that are available online for purchase.
|S.No.||Popular Airbag Helmet||Pricing (Euros)||Pricing ($)||Link|
|1.||Hoveding 3 with Cover Brazil||€389||$417||Latest Price|
|2.||Hoveding 3||€349||$375||Latest Price|
|3.||Hoveding 3 with Cover Airbag Inside||€399||$430||Latest Price|
|4.||Hoveding 3 with Cover HI-VIS||€379||$405||Latest Price|
|5.||Hoveding 3 with Cover Spectrum||€389||$420||Latest Price|
The average price of the Airbag helmet is around $400, which might be triple or more than the other helmets. Considering that the helmet is still in the development process, it might be wise to avoid buying this expensive thing at the moment.
You could wait for a reasonably priced product to get launched, which might be worth the wait.
How Safe is an Airbag Helmet?
The safety of the Airbag Helmet depends on various factors, including build quality, manufacturing process, the efficiency of sensors & mechanisms, and so on.
Here are some studies that have tested its safety factor.
- As per the study by Stanford University, the Hovding Airbag helmet is eight-fold better than other conventional options in terms of protection from head traumas.
- A Swedish insurance company named Folksam found that these helmets considerably decreased the risk of head injuries, like concussions in test crashes. To be precise, Airbag helmets reduced the risk factor to a mere 2%, whereas the conventional helmet has 90% risk, traveling at the speed of 25Km/h.
- In the same study of Folksam, they tested the oblique impacts with the rotational test methods and found that Hovding 3.0 helmets did not allow detrimental neck rotation like others.
As the helmet is only available in the European market, the Hovding (a manufacturing company in Sweden) and Folksam (an insurance company) have given credible studies on this technology.
Can you Reuse Airbag Helmets?
Similar to the car airbag systems, you cannot reuse these airbag helmets right away after once being inflated in an accident.
The experts strictly rule out the idea of reusing airbag helmets for safety reasons. However, you can approach the manufacturing company of the helmet and get it fixed with a new inflating system, depending on its condition.
But the fact that it is not reusable like other helmets can be appeased by the factors such as:
- Some insurance companies cover the cost of the new helmet depending on the decided pointers and conditions.
- Otherwise, many allow the heavy discounts on the repurchase of the new airbag helmets.
The entire idea of this costly alternative is just unreasonable for individuals and manufacturing companies. This is why there are several ongoing research for reducing the effective cost of this helmet, making it a practical choice for people across the world.
How is an Airbag Helmet different from Regular MIPS Helmet?
This section will give you an overall idea of the core differences between the Airbag and MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) Helmets.
1. Structural Variation
The Airbag helmet is a collar device wrapped around the neck, protecting the head traumas by inflating the protective covering around the head just before the accident.
Whereas, the MIPS helmet already has a permanent protective hood that covers the entire head beforehand.
2. Systematic Approach
An Airbag helmet comes with sensors and inflating airbags, and it rapidly inflates the Airbag with a pump when sensors sense the crash.
The regular MIPS helmet has a conventional design with an added extra layer, which gives slight rotations inside the helmet to reduce the impact.
Airbags helmets are non-reusable after inflating once in an accident, but MIPS are reusable provided they are still in good condition without any problems with their structural integrity.
One factor is that MIPS is highly reliable at what it does due to the exclusion of any automatic machinery. On the contrary, the Airbag helmets might turn out to be really bad if the sensors stop working or they run out of battery.
The Airbag helmets are still not available across the globe, and only Hovding, a Swedish company, has made them commercially available in some European countries. On the other hand, MIPS helmets are easily accessible in every part of the world.
Which is Better in Safety: AirBag Helmet or Regular Helmet?
As per thorough testing and conducted studies, MIPS helmet provides considerably less protection (in terms of head traumas and internal injuries) than the Airbag Helmets. Provided the Airbag helmet inflates in time before the head touches the surface, it upholds a much better safety aspect than MIPS helmets.
MIPS only maneuvers the rotational capability to a certain degree, making the neck vulnerable. However, the Airbag provides the overall protection of the head, face, and neck during a serious crash.
Which is Cost-Effective: Which is Better in Safety: AirBag Helmet or Regular Helmet?
The Airbag Helmets are much costlier when compared to the MIPS helmets, with a factor of 3-5 times. To explain, a MIPS helmet might cost in the range of $80-$130, and an Airbag helmet comes with an average price of $300.
Considering the value of life, every individual should purchase fully functional airbag helmets with optimum test results. However, the reusability aspect and lower price tag make the MIPS a better option for many riders.