— Health and Wellbeing
Rear access helmet designed for easy, safe removal
The Voztec helmet has a detachable back section, for easy removal in the event of an accident
Although motorcycle helmets save countless lives, they can pose a challenge to emergency response personnel at accident scenes - the helmet needs to be removed, yet the patient's head should be moved as little as possible, in case there are any spinal cord injuries. While this sometimes results in the helmet having to be cut off, the prototype Voztec full-face helmet offers a simpler solution - with the release of one pin and two clips, the back of the helmet detaches and the front can be slid off.
Australia's John Vozzo first came up with the idea when he was in hospital with two broken legs, which were the result of a skydiving accident. His injuries left him temporarily unable to work, so he turned his attentions to developing a rear-entry skydiving helmet. After teaming up with business partner Mark Bryant, the concept was developed into a horse-racing helmet. Now, the duo are proposing a whole line of helmets that incorporate the Voztec rear-entry system, although the current focus is on a helmet for motorcyclists.
Users put the helmet on by opening the hinged back section, sticking their head in, then tightening the ladder clips on either side. This will reportedly pull the helmet snug with their skull, while also positioning their chin firmly in its chin cup - the helmet doesn't incorporate a traditional chin strap, which can be subject to creeping, and is one more thing for paramedics to work around.
To take the helmet off, users just release the side clips to open up the back. In the case of an accident, however, the additional releasing of a prominent top-mounted emergency release pin will cause the entire back portion of the helmet to come off. Depending on the position of the wearer, the front should then simply be able to slide off, with no yanking on the head required.
The helmet is also designed to offer more protection to the jaw and temples than traditional full-face helmets, and to have a smoother, rounder exterior with less snag points. This is said to result in it being less likely to catch on obstacles, in the event of an accident.
In development since 2005, the Voztec helmet prototype is currently in its fifth generation. We look forward to seeing where it goes from here.
The video below illustrates how it works.
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
All articles by Ben Coxworth
Good idea, but what would make it even better would be to add something like the APC airbag system.
Why just protect against additional neck injury when you can try to prevent some in the actual crash? Although I think the APC bag should be somewhat bigger to better brace the helmet against back, chest and clavicles. Helmets would be a better place for a motorcycle airbag than clothing such as Dainese airbag suit. People change clothing depending on weather conditions, but they always grab the same helmet, and the hard shell protects the airbag better from everyday wear and tear.
Yeah a nice snug fitting helmet, and comfy tight chin strap - and a broken but recoverable neck - if it\'s not moved.
Take one helmet - pull and twist hard to get off....
There goes your neck.
I have been faced with getting a helmet off of a 15 year old boy that need CPR and could have had neck injuries. I had some training and 10 years of racing experience. According to the EMTs I did everything right but it was an awful choice to have to make but being alone in the desert I had to do it. Unfortunately the young man died rather early in the process from a broken neck all I could do was try.
Having worn helmets in off road, street bikes and Kart roadracing I am not real thrilled with the no chin strap part of this design and that part would need some proving to me.
I like the design of the helmet. The back panel would provide the thin pad that we would use when putting someone on a long board. I was a medic and EMT for 28 years and have handled more than a few of these situations and know how hard it is to stabilize the head/neck when a helmet is involved.
I wasn\'t too impressed with the airbag someone suggested. It is an improvement and I wouldn\'t be against it. Perhaps combining the airbag and Voztec helmet would be the best. If I had to chose, I would pick the Voztec first.
According to the text, proper fit and wearing mitigates the need for the chinstrap. These days, it really isn\'t a \'chinstrap\' but more a jaw/neck strap anyway.
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