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Smart Motorcycle Helmets: Next Generation Safety Feature, Unnecessary Hazard, or Valuable Evidence?

When determining fault for a motorcycle accident or collision involving any kind of motor vehicle, insurance companies examine all factors to determine who or what caused the accident and what could have been done to prevent it.  In most accidents, they assign fault to one of the drivers or divide the fault, not always evenly, among both drivers.  Other things can cause accidents besides errors in judgment while driving.  Thus, insurance companies look at factors like road conditions, weather, and even vehicle malfunctions to see if any of these caused or contributed to the accident.  When a faulty vehicle or piece of equipment in one causes an accident, the person injured in the accident can file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the vehicle or device.  Every new piece of motor vehicle technology that has the potential to make us safer can also be dangerous if used improperly or if distributed commercially before its bugs have been worked out.  Smart motorcycle helmets are only the newest tech trend that can prevent or cause motorcycle accidents.

New Horizons in Smart Helmet Technology

The tech industry has been talking up the potential of smart motorcycle helmet technology, but as of 2019, only a few smart helmets have appeared on the market.  These are some of the smart motorcycle helmet features in currently available helmets and in helmets scheduled to be released soon:

  • Helmets with heads up displays (HUDs) that project information about routes and road conditions onto the helmet’s eye shield, so users can see them without stopping to look at their phones
  • Noise cancellation ear covers that block out wind noise while amplifying other sounds that might inform riders’ decisions
  • 360-degree cameras to give riders a panoramic view of the road

Are Smart Helmets Safe?

The safety value of motorcycle helmets cannot be overestimated; all motorcycle helmets are safer than no helmet, provided that they provide enough coverage and are made of strong enough material.  The question is whether smart helmets are safer than the motorcycle helmets people wore ten years ago.  The fact that some of them promise an “engaging” experience is worrisome; “engaging” sounds like a tech startup’s euphemism for “distracting.”  Motorcycle riders are used to focusing their eyes and ears on what is important to enable them to drive safely; the new technology presents a distraction, at least until riders get used to using it.  The cameras built into motorcycle helmets could be important for motorcycle accident lawsuits, though.  Their recording feature could provide valuable evidence about the moments leading up to an accident.

Contact Us Today for Assistance

Even the most careful motorcycle rider with the safest motorcycle and the safest helmet can still suffer serious injuries in a motorcycle accident.  A personal injury lawyer can help you recover damages. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Palm Beach Gardens motorcycle accident attorneys at Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather Injury Lawyers for a consultation to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.

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