Bicycle safety is a serious issue, especially in urban areas where cyclists have to share the road with cars, buses, and pedestrians. According to the World Health Organization, more than 60,000 cyclists die every year from road traffic injuries, and many more suffer from head and neck injuries that can have lasting consequences.
Traditional bicycle helmets can offer some protection but are not always comfortable, stylish, or effective. Some cyclists don’t wear them, while others complain that they are too hot, heavy, or restrictive. Moreover, some studies have shown that helmets can increase the risk of rotational injuries or neck fractures in certain types of crashes.
That’s why a Swedish company called Hövding has developed a revolutionary alternative: a bicycle airbag that is worn around the neck and inflates in 0.1 seconds when it detects a crash. The Hövding bicycle airbag is a collar-like device that contains sensors and an algorithm that monitors the cyclist’s movement patterns 200 times per second. Suppose the sensors detect an abnormal movement that indicates a crash. In that case, the device releases an airbag that covers the head and neck of the cyclist, providing superior protection and shock absorption.
The Hövding bicycle airbag has been proven safer than conventional helmets in independent tests conducted by researchers from Stanford University and the University of Strasbourg. The tests showed that the Hövding airbag reduced the risk of concussion by eight times compared to a traditional helmet and also prevented extreme neck movements that could cause spinal injuries.
The Hövding bicycle airbag also offers other advantages over conventional helmets, such as:
- It is more comfortable and convenient to wear, as it does not interfere with the cyclist’s vision, hearing, or hairstyle.
- It is more stylish and customizable, with different covers that match the cyclist’s outfit or mood.
- It is more adaptable and versatile, as it can fit different head sizes and shapes and can be used with different types of bicycles and accessories.
- It is more eco-friendly and sustainable, as it uses less material and energy than helmets and can be recycled after use.
The Hövding bicycle airbag is not only a product but also a service. The device connects to a smartphone app that offers various features, such as notifying selected contacts in case of an accident, tracking cycling statistics and environmental impact, updating software automatically, and providing feedback on improving cycling safety. The app also connects the user to a community of Hövding users who can share their experiences and support each other.
The Hövding bicycle airbag is currently available in Europe and Japan, where it has received positive reviews from customers and media. The company plans to expand to other markets soon, including the US. The device costs around $300, which may seem expensive compared to a helmet, but it is worth it, considering its benefits.
The Hövding bicycle airbag is a game-changer for bicycle safety. It is an innovative device that combines technology, design, and social responsibility to create a better cycling experience for everyone. It is not just an airbag; it is a statement of how we want to live our lives: with freedom, fun, and safety. @via Hövding.