New York designer and rider Joe Doucet has designed a helmet wth an LED light that switches to red when decelerating to improve rider visibility and avoid rear-end crashes.
Joe has benevolently decided not to apply for a patent nor manufacture the helmet but make the technology available to others in the interests of rider safety.
“I opened up the intellectual property to any company who chooses to produce a version of the helmet. Weighing the potential of saving a life against a royalty check is an easy decision to make,” he says.
However, he’s not the first to develop such technology that includes a light linked to an accelerometer.
Helmet lights add visibility
There have been several products designed to increase the visibility of riders and attract the attention of tailgating motorists.
They include the French Cosmo helmet light that sticks on the back of any helmet and the inVIEW helmet light that not only indicates when brakes are applied or a rider slows down on the throttle, but also shows a rider’s intention to turn.
Young French couple Fanny, 19, and Jonathan, 20, also launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their Spektre idea for illuminated tape to light up your motorcycle helmet. It only received 5% of its $A42,000 goal.
The idea of lighting up a helmet may not be novel, but it also doesn’t seem to have kick started with a lot of riders.
A helmet light makes some sense to improve the visibility of riders as the taillights on a bike are low and drivers in heavy traffic may not see them because of the bonnet (hood) of their car, SUV or truck.
Together with an accelerometer that senses the bike slowing down — even under engine braking and no brake application as many riders do — it may help reduce rear-ender crashes.
These are one of the most common forms of accident for motorcycles, but there are things you can do to prevent them including lane filtering where it’s legal.
While Joe has decided to not produce his helmet, it appears he has created a few prototypes in an open-face format.
If he was really interested in ultimate safety surely he would have made them in full-face versions.
After all, the chin area is the most likely to hit the ground first in a crash as this Icon helmet shows.
Joe’s concession to safety is that the shell is a combination of kevlar and polycarbonate.
The designer has also worked with companies such as BMW, Nike and Samsung.