Hövding. Heard spoken? No, it is an airbag that cyclists can protect in the event of an accident. If you’re wondering what’s right, do not worry, it means you do not have to wear a cycling helmet. Seriously. And yes, you have to get used to it a bit.
This is essentially a waterproof collar for commuters – the segment of cyclists most likely to have an accident. It is CE certified – helmets must also be certified. It works with acceleration sensors that detect similar movement patterns as in a collision. The airbag is then deployed.
The bag is fully activated in case of an accident in 0.1 seconds. It is crucial that not only the head, but also the neck of the cyclist is protected.
Of course, one of the main problems with such a device is its perception by other road users and cyclists; People will ask why you do not wear a helmet. Coincidentally, wearing the helmet with the Hövding Pass according to the manufacturer even an adverse effect that will cause problems when triggering the airbag.
Of course, there is also a problem of trust – helmet protection that you can see in front of you … but do you trust that an airbag will be triggered?
The £ 219 unit is available in three sizes and was originally designed more than a decade ago in Malmö, Sweden. This is the second production version that presents some design improvements over the original. This is the result of extensive research and even a black box device that allows Hovding to recall the seconds before a crash. It detects the cyclist’s movements 200 times a second to detect an accident.
Researchers at Stanford University conducted a study of the original Hövding airbag and found that the thickness and stiffness of the Hövding helmet are “almost perfect” in terms of protecting against concussion and injury to the body. Head caused by an accident.
They estimate that the risk of a concussion caused by the Hövding airbag compared to conventional helmets has increased eightfold.
Fredrik Carling, director of Hövding, said the company “knows more than 800 cases in which the Hövding airbag may have saved the life of a cyclist in an accident”.
So, what do you have to do with the collar everyday? Put it around your neck (it’s pretty heavy at 645g and not the most comfortable when it’s hot). Then you have to activate the device with a button on the zipper. Around the airbag is a cover made of strong black fabric. You can buy other blankets for £ 40.