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2014-10-07 03:47 pm (UTC)
Coo, this took a lot of time to get back to.
Thing is, "burned once, twice shy"; we've had one plausible-looking head protection device which turns out to do nothing, and I think the onus is now on the next one to demonstrate utility.
Beyond that, many of the hypotheses as to why the regular kind seem to do very little also apply here. Risk compensation? Check . Increases the lever arm, potentially exacerbating rotational injuries? Check. The inflatable one is more shock-absorbent than the normal kind, but not by a factor that deals with the difficulty that helmet standards are for unassisted falls - they're massively underspecified for the motor vehicle impacts that typically cause KSIs.
Like early airbags, I'd also want to see if there's any potential for inflation (perhaps unplanned) causing comedy in its own right...
(Also, of course, cycling's not that dangerous; head injury rates are similar to peds and cagers, depending on whether you prefer to count per person-hour or per person-kilometre. So why not helmets for them? But that argument's besides the point here.)
 Well, maybe. At least some of the risk compensation is presumably by motorists, and an "invisible" helmet would eliminate that.
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