Bike Helmets of Today and Tomorrow

The bike helmets of today are considered the standard of safety while bike riding. They've been credited with preventing potentially severe head trauma in thousands of bike accidents. The technology that's responsible for bike helmets has evolved significantly over the years, but experts believe there is still room for improvement. Currently, many states, as well as countries around the world, have helmet laws that require the use of helmets while riding a bike. But experts believe that the actual function of a bike helmet can be improved for even better protection.

Bike helmets in the past

In the not-so-distant past, bike helmets consisted of little more than a cap that strapped to the bike rider's head. This cap worked very well for preventing cuts and abrasions in the event of an accident but did almost nothing to protect against impact injuries. Traumatic head injuries are considered the highest risk with bike riding, so these "helmets" were practically useless, especially as the improved designs of the bicycle itself allowed for faster speeds.

Current functions of bike helmets

As of 2011, bike helmet technology consists of a complex matrix of rigid materials combined with air space, allowing for cushioning and impact absorption in the event of an accident. This helps significantly decrease the number of serious bike-related injuries, offering protection that will crumple upon impact rather than allowing a human head to feel that shock.

Future bike helmet possibilities

Advancements in technology may also translate into an even better, safer bike helmet. Think about it: If you're on a wilderness bike ride and crash, or you're biking on busy city streets where others are not likely to slow down and help a biker in distress, then a traditional helmet may not be of much help. The bike helmets of the future propose to eliminate this problem by implementing a system similar to the emergency response systems seen in some motorized vehicles -- something that will notify the appropriate authorities if you sustain a head injury in a wreck. Along with improved impact-resistant technologies, a "smart helmet" has been proposed that will be able to detect a head injury and call for help from the nearest qualified health-care providers.

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