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Motorcycle airbag

for [alterother]
  (+7, -2)
(+7, -2)
  [vote for,

This suit blows itself up to a protective balloon in the event of a crash. Driver bounces around unhurt.
zeno, Jul 22 2011

Like... http://www.google.c...qToHGEYil8QPjhfjWAQ
[MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 22 2011]

This is what I had in mind http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zorbing
Thought [alterother] deserved a bit of fun [zeno, Jul 23 2011]

Hit-Air http://www.hit-air....iew&id=19&Itemid=35
"The most revolutionary and technologically advanced riding apparel in the world", apparently. [Wrongfellow, Sep 13 2011]

Dainese airbag suit http://www.dainese....us_en/d-air/#time_7
[theircompetitor, Dec 25 2015]

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       They make these systems, most have some sort of a lanyard, or fancier ones use accelerometers to detect a fallen rider, then inflate the vest. The hard thing is making something that inflates fast enough, and won't accidently go off and cause a potential crash.
metarinka, Jul 23 2011

       Having recently hit a deer on my motorcycle and been thrown an estimated (by the police) 40 yards, bouncing at least twice, breaking three ribs, my left tibia, shattering my left scapula, and disconnecting every tendon and ligament in my left ankle, as well as sustaining a moderate concussion (thank you HJC Helmets), let me just say that there is no guarantee that this would help. Airbags in cars function well because the occupants are in a fixed and known position; in a motorcycle crash, there's no telling where the rider will go. Even if the device offers some degree of impact absorption, it won't help with the traumatic contortions of the body as it twists, tumbles, and slams into irregularly-shaped objects at high speeds, which is what caused the worst of my injuries.   

       That said, it probably couldn't have hurt.   

       Thanks for the sentiment, though. It gave me a smile. [+] for that.
Alterother, Jul 23 2011

       What was the deer doing on your motorcycle in the first place?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 23 2011

       I don't know; that's why I hit it. I realize now that it would have been a better idea to pull over first rather than brawl with a ruminant at 45 mph.   

       [zeno], sorry if I came off sounding hypercritical, I didn't mean it that way. I just think that if stuff like this worked effectively it would already be baked.
Alterother, Jul 23 2011

       [alter] it is, extensively.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 23 2011

       Kind of wish I'd known that a couple of months ago. Not that I'd have been able to afford it (I can only assume such things cost mucho dinero). Saving money is part of the reason I ride.
Alterother, Jul 23 2011

       Available self inflating suits are of limited value for exactly the reasons given by Alterother.   

       To be of any real value, the suit would need to be able to inflate to great size in order to provide useful space in which to absorb energy.   

       As available, I think the suits give more impression of safety than actual improvement. As such, they increase riders confidence and chances of incident. The net result is more injuries. Bad thing.   

       [-] for the general concept of motorcycle 'safety' devices. Better to know the risk and ride accordingly, rather than have the perception of risk distorted.
Twizz, Jul 25 2011

       A rapidly-inflating Helium balloon strapped to the rider's back might work. It would inflate rapidly as you are thrown over the handlebars and the deer, leaving you still travelling at some speed but floating a metre or two above the ground.
hippo, Jul 25 2011

       Rockets ... the Martin-Baker "Zero-Zero" seat ....
8th of 7, Jul 25 2011

       // Better to know the risk and ride accordingly, rather than have the perception of risk distorted. //   

       Absolutely. I knew the risk, I wore all my safety gear, and I rode safely. Because of that, I am looking forward to walking with a cane for the next couple of months*. If I'd been going just 10 mph faster, my injuries could have been much worse. Too much confidence can seriously affect a rider's stability, as a friend of mine says.   

       *<Edit, Sept 16: okay, I was exaggerating for effect. As of today, I'm still using a single crutch. Not quite ready for the cane yet.>
Alterother, Jul 25 2011

       What could have been a minor accident turns into 106 seconds of Freeway Median Zorb Polo, involving 83 cars, 71 injuries and 38 YouTube videos.
lurch, Jul 26 2011

       ...And don't have accidents on hillsides or mountains. Gravity would cause hilarity.
DenholmRicshaw, Jul 26 2011

       Freeway Median Zorb Polo, hey, that sounds like fun!
RayfordSteele, Jul 26 2011

       Maybe for riding in mountainous areas, it could come with a bungee to keep you attached to the motorcycle as an anchor...
Alterother, Jul 26 2011

       [Alterother], you are so lucky to be alive. I think this product would have cut your injuries in half, at least. +
blissmiss, Jul 26 2011

       Thank you. Everybody here has been really supportive of me and it helps more than you know. Thanks to all the Halfbakers who have wished me well, including those who haven't posted those wishes.   

       I have to disagree, however; it might have helped with the shoulder and ribs, but those are almost healed. The worst of my injuries were to my left leg, and they were torsional trauma, not impact or crush trauma. Unless the 'airbag jacket' could inflate to the size of a zorb, it wouldn't have prevented my leg injuries. This is where I argue the impracticality of it, since deflated zorbs are pretty heavy. Adding to that the bulk and weight of enough compressed air to fill a zorb, and the garment becomes virtually unwearable, even as a backpack (and I was already wearing a backpack).
Alterother, Jul 26 2011

       Well "motorcycle inside a zorb", doesn't sound too hard to imagine, though riding it would be somewhat difficult ;-).
blissmiss, Jul 26 2011

       Not really, actually; the movements required to control a motorcycle are actually quite subtle. Provided I had enough room to move my fingers and feet (for brakes and shifting), I could do a slalom course inside a zorb just by shifting my weight. I probably couldn't dodge a whitetail deer that materialized out of f#%*ing nowhere, though.
Alterother, Jul 26 2011

       Until recently I had a colleague whose habit of falling off motorbikes earned her the nickname "Crashie" (short for "crash-test dummy"). She also used to fall off horses. I wonder whether an equestrian version of this might work better, the speeds being lower.   

       Might not be good for the horse, of course.
pertinax, Jul 26 2011

       // She also used to fall off horses. //   

       Given that "falling off things in motion" seems to be a recurrent theme for her, perhaps she would be better of being coached in "avoidant behaviour" rather than being supplied with additional protective equipment ?   

       Considering the White-Tailed Deer problem, which no doubt was using the road not only without a crash helmet but compounding the felony by having no lights, reflectors or rear-view mirror, perhaps the answer may lie in forward-looking passive infrared detectors, designed to pick up a living object moving at right angles into the path of the vehicle, and alert the driver/rider.   


       Let us assume the following scenraio:   

       A motorcycle travelling at 75kmh An average road surface giving a stopping distance of 45m A deer moving at 50km/h normal to the centreline of a singe track of road.   

       The rider will need to be at least 50 m from the theoretical point of interception when the system signals an alert. The bike will be travelling at 20 m/s so if the rider does not brake, 2.5 seconds will elapse before impact   

       In this time the deer will move (at 15 m/s) 37 metres.   

       Therefore, at the very latest moment an alert would be useful, the bike and the deer and the point of impact form a triangle, with a hypotenuse of about 62 metres.   

       To be really useful, the system would need to be able to detect a deer-sized target at a slant range of more like 200 metres, particularly when poorer road surface conditions prevail.   

       Given that the terrain is likely to have at least some undergrowth and forestation, this would prevent a formidable technical challenge, particulalrly since the launch platform is at a low level, the amount of ground clutter and reflections, and the vibration and motion of the platform.   

       This will still not cope with the situation where a previously stationary deer is "startled" onto the road.   

       Conclusion: Deer detection is a non-starter.
8th of 7, Jul 27 2011

       Could you have an inner layer that inflated to high pressures to hold the limbs/torso/neck rigid to prevent torsion/whiplash injuries, and a moderately thick outer later that inflated to handle shock absorption.   

       (Trying to think about the impact, and I can't decide if this would make it better or worse).
MechE, Jul 27 2011

       //Deer detection is a non-starter.//   

       Deer suits: the ultimate stealth technology.
RayfordSteele, Jul 27 2011

       Except during hunting season. Then a deer suit is really shitty stealth tech.   

       As for forward-scanning-whatever, side-scanning would have been far more useful in my case. All indications are that the sucker leapt out of the woods about 15-20 ft in front of me (I layed down about 12 ft of rubber before impact). I don't remember, so I have to go by what witnesses and the Sherrif's Office/Game Wardens tell me.   

       In a related story, a good friend of mine just put those deer-scaring silent whistler things on his own motorcycle. The debate over whether or not they actually work has been going on for years, but lots of people up here use them.
Alterother, Jul 28 2011

       // lots of people up here use them //   

       Are these whistle-users live people, or people who have died as a consequence of a road traffic accident involving a deer? Finding out the answer to that question should pretty much resolve the debate one way or another.   

       To try to strike a marginally more positive note, if sufficient deer are killed on the roads, (un)natural selection will eventually result in a road-vehicle-avoidant deer, pretty much like hedgehogs have been selected to run rather than curl up.   

       It is equally possible, though significantly less likely, that a human behaviour trait to avoid travelling through deer-infested areas at speed by means of mechanically- propelled transport might develop, although based on previous events it would appear that the most likely outcome is a wholesale slaughter of deer.
8th of 7, Jul 28 2011

       Unfortunately, the State of Maine does not keep very good records concerning the mortality rates among users of a cheap little plastic thing you can buy at a gas station for $3.
Alterother, Jul 28 2011

       Perhaps a program to mount them on all the deer?
normzone, Sep 14 2011

       Then all the deer would be afraid of each other. And themselves. And then there would be no more deer. No, we don't want that.
Alterother, Sep 16 2011

       Attach radar transponders to the deer ?
8th of 7, Sep 16 2011

       Do research into the corner-reflector gene
lurch, Sep 16 2011

       All research funds currently slated for isolation of the teleportation gene. Accepting grants and private donations. Please send clean, unmarked Canadian $, preferably a mix of twenties and fifties.
Alterother, Sep 16 2011


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