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Smart Helmets: Is this technology the future of cycling safety?

A smart helmet is an improvement to the traditional helmet design.

In Spain, delivery riders law reshuffles deck for take-away market
In May, Spain became the first EU country to pass legislation regulating the status of delivery drivers who get around on bikes and motorcycles - Copyright AFP/File Gabriel BOUYS
In May, Spain became the first EU country to pass legislation regulating the status of delivery drivers who get around on bikes and motorcycles - Copyright AFP/File Gabriel BOUYS

According to the World Health Organization’s Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018, correct helmet usage leads to a 69 percent reduction in the risk of head injuries and a 42 percent reduction in the risk of fatal injuries.

With advancements in technology, there are now better, smarter, and more efficient helmets that take safety to the next level. Some of these are based on ‘smart’ helmet technologies.

According to Ben Mercer from the mountain bike helmet division at Leisure Lakes Bikes, helmet technologies provide a combination of practical helmet use and safety. He has outlined the advantages to Digital Journal.

What is a smart helmet?

According to Mercer: “A smart helmet is an improvement to the traditional helmet design and includes a host of features designed to make cycling safer, more enjoyable, and improve your performance.”

He adds that: “Transport connectivity is essential in today’s world, and cycling is no exception. Through GPS, Bluetooth, and 5G, an enhanced cycling experience can be gathered in just one item – the helmet.”

Throughout the years, many new features have entered the cycling helmet market. Example features are:

Cycling with kids: choose an in-built intercom

Here Mercer explains: “For those who like to tackle the unbeaten track as a family, road bike helmets with an in-built intercom are the ultimate solution for keeping everyone on track.”

He adds that: “The feature is also extremely useful for groups of riders who want to stay connected or are exploring new trails. You can quickly pair up with any of the people you’re riding along with at the touch of a button. Even if a rider falls out of range, the rest of the group will stay connected. Once they’re back within range, they will automatically reconnect with the group.”

Biking in the dark: opt for an in-built trail light

With an in-built trail light, Mercer advises: “This ensures you have visibility, especially throughout the dark hours of the day. There are many other helmet models that feature in-built taillights. Some of them even take the sustainability aspect up a notch by incorporating LED lights.”

Taking an adventurous route? Be equipped with an SOS button for emergencies

With safety features, Mercer proposes: “Often, cyclists like to take the more adventurous road, as it brings them thrill and excitement about the unknown. If you too like to explore new trails, then making sure you’re well-equipped for an emergency is vital.”

Concluding, Mercer explains: “Safety on the road gives you the confidence to explore new trails and routes, knowing that you’re not only well protected but also equipped with the right tools to handle an emergency and seek the right help. Today, helmets are much more than a shield on your head, and smart helmets prove that.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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