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Using biomimicry, new helmet design reduces head injury

A new helmet design promises to protect cyclists by simulating the way the human skull protects itself from rapid rotational injury.
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Written by Andrew Nusca, Former editor on

A new helmet design promises to protect cyclists by simulating the way the human skull protects itself from rapid rotational injury.

Manufactured by Lazer Designsand designed by U.K.-based Industrial Design Consultancy, the new helmet is an attempt to combat the statistic that 80 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents are caused by head trauma -- the majority from rapid rotational acceleration and the resulting shearing of blood vessels and nerve fibers inside.

The Superskin helmet imitates the skin of the skull thanks to the use of an external membrane resting on a thin layer of lubricant.

The theory: When the helmet strikes the ground, the membrane slides, absorbing the rotational forces that would otherwise shear the rider's head.

According to the company's tests, the helmet's design reduces rotational impact by 50 percent and the subsequent possibility of brain damage by 67.5 percent.

Now that's an intelligent idea.

Two motorcycle models will arrive in stores this summer for approximately $230 ("Rider" open-face) and $310 ("Solano" full-face).

Here's a promotional video:

[via TreeHugger and Dexigner]

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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