Icon Airframe Statistic: The motorcycle helmet for safety evangelists
By Loz Blain
April 25, 2014
The numbers you see on each section of this helmet represent the likelihood of that section taking an impact in a crash ... and they tell a very powerful story that's guaranteed to create arguments with other riders.
Motorcyclists are rarely shy when it comes to their opinions, especially when it comes to their opinions on what safety gear other people are wearing.
There are two camps. The ATGATT (All The Gear, All The Time) crew and the "squids," so named because when you wear just a helmet and you’ve got a bunch of unprotected fleshy parts dangling underneath, you look a bit like a sea creature.
For many in the ATGATT brigade, it’s not enough just to be wearing safety gear, you’ve got to be wearing the right safety gear. Roll up in an open face helmet, and you’ll sometimes hear sly asides like "you might as well not be wearing a helmet at all."
If that’s the sort of thing you find yourself saying a lot, then boy does Icon have the lid for you! Sectioned up like a butcher’s carcass, each section of the helmet Airframe Statistic is boldly marked with a big percentage number that shows exactly how likely each part of the helmet is to take impact in a crash.
The stats appear to come from the well-known and wonderfully-named Hurt Report, and they tell a very convincing story. By far the most common areas of impact are on the chin piece, an area that’s completely unprotected if you’re wearing an open-face helmet.
The least common point of impact is the very top of the head, just 0.4 percent of crash victims took a knock here. So if you’re using the Airframe Statistic as some sort of trauma scoreboard, that’s clearly where you want to try to whack your head for maximum points.
While it’s a macabre and powerful message, it’s unlikely to change many minds. Most open-face helmet wearers are well and truly aware of the crash statistics, others will put forward arguments that wearing helmets at all is more dangerous than riding with the wind in your hair. At the end of the day, as long as it’s legal to make the choice, people will continue to do so.
But this helmet makes a very strong and simple message that could easily sway a new rider toward a full-coverage lid. At the very least, it’ll start conversations at the coffee shop. And as such, I reckon it’s a great little piece of communication.