New Motorcycle Helmet Designed to Curb Low Impact Injuries

The helmet debate has raged strong for years. There are riders on both sides of the fence but new helmet designs may solve the issue all together. Conventional motorcycle helmets are constructed to absorb impacts in high-speed accidents. When it comes to low impact accidents, however, the current design may not be what is needed to prevent concussion or mild brain injury. Scientists in California have developed a new helmet design that may be the answer to low-impact accident injuries.

The 6D Helmet company has designed a new helmet that distributes impact evenly across the whole head, thus protecting it from low impact as well as high impact accident injuries. Using creative engineering techniques, the helmet can significantly reduce the magnitude of energy transferred to the head during a low-speed accident.

Motorcyclists wearing this new design of helmet are at a significantly lower risk of brain damage and concussion during a low impact accident than those wearing a traditionally designed helmet. There are also several other safety features integrated into this new design to curb other types of injuries. The new design allows for the sides of the helmet to collapse to curb the risk of collar bone fractures as well as extra padding in the chin area to bring down the chances of trauma to the sternum. 

This new AT-1 helmet has already been tested by professional super cross riders Eli Tomac, Wil Hahn, Justin Bogle, Zach Bell and Zach Osborne and looks similar to the traditional motorcross helmet. It has the same hard outer shell to prevent penetration and a visor that detaches on impact to prevent further injury to the head and neck. 

The shell is made of fiberglass, Kevlar and carbon fiber but that is where the similarities end. Instead of the traditional single layer of energy-absorbing expanded polystyrene (EPS), the AT-1 has a double layer. Between these two layers is 27 hourglass-shaped elastomeric dampers. These dampers suffice as free-motion suspension for the wearers head as well as providing a small 6mm air gap.

The damper have a spring rate that quickly increases with compression. This allows the two layers to sheer away omni-directionally to supply better performance against catacorner strikes. This feature also serves to cut down rotational brain injuries from angular acceleration. According to 6D, this design defends the brain over a wider range of impact energies than traditional helmets which have been required to contain stiffer shells and expanded polystyrene (EPS) layers to accomplish the hard to pass Snell and DOT drop tests.

Tests have proven that this Omni Directional System (ODS) are far more efficacious in low impact injuries which is the main cause of concussion in low impact accidents. The helmets designers, Bob Weber and Robert Reisinger are long time motorcyclists and active members of the motorcycle community.

The AT-1 helmet became available to the public in February and are priced at $750. While some critics renounce the high price, motorcycle enthusiasts remind us that no price can be put on the safety of their riders. 

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