Cardboard Helmets

Bicycle helmets could be getting a makeover. A design student noted that polystyrene distributes the impact energy of a crash across the entire skull, which while better than the alternative still does not reduce the damage. Turns out corrugated cardboard can deal with 4 times the impact of polystyrene, reducing that much energy transferring onto your skull.

Helmets protect your head only 16% of the times during a crash and have been giving us the false implication of safety. Emphasis this day is given to styling and aerodynamics. However, polystyrene does little to absorb impact energy but distributes it over the head. Since the past twenty years improvements have been made in the fields of aerodynamics and styling. However while cycling through a busy city at an average speed of 12mph, safety is more important than aerodynamics.

So while a cardboard helmet may not impress the girls or help you win the races, it’ll do a better job doing its job. You know…the whole reason bike helmets were invented in the first place.

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10 Responses to “Cardboard Helmets”

  1. Pitt says:

    Until the first good rain storm.

  2. Dan says:

    My first thought too.

    “Covering the cardboard is a water-resistant acrylic to keep your head dry in the rain.”

    Bonus points: the first comment on the article is some guy writing a diatribe about the pussification of America, how they didn’t bother with helmets when he was a kid. Sigh.

  3. Pitt says:

    In SC, they still don’t require them for motorcyclists. Although as a friend of mine once said, If you’re in a bad enough wreck that the helmet will do any good, the rest of you isn’t going to be looking too hot. Basically, its so the EMS people can I.D. you based on your dental remains.

  4. Pitt says:

    What’s next? Requiring pedestrians to wear helmets?

  5. Dan says:

    I agree with you on the legality of it. Mandating helmets is, in my view, a mix of a cash grab and a PR move by the gubbmint. It’s one more thing they can write a ticket for, and they make it look like they’re promoting safety.

    I responded to a motorcycle crash where the dude was wearing a helmet. That didn’t do too much for his right arm which was severed at the shoulder, but I suppose you take some you give some.

  6. Pitt says:

    I guess in his case it was more of a giving situation.

    Man, that would suck for clapping.

  7. matt says:

    Maybe he’s a Buddhist? That’s a hell of a koan right there.

  8. Dan says:

    I very clearly remember driving the ambulance and hearing my partner in the back say, “Hmm…the watch is still ticking.”

  9. Pitt says:

    Was it a Timex?

  10. Pitt says:

    I think Netflix has co-opted the koan for their commercials.

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