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Motorcycling is a very dangerous activity. Even the most careful rider wearing all the available safety gear faces the risk of severe head trauma, breaking one's neck, loss of one or more limbs, etc. There have been many advances in this area, for example, I've seen a "helmet airbag" that inflates
to keep the neck straight and try to prevent a broken neck and/or damaged spinal column. Great idea. However, no safety device such as this is completely foolproof. Some drunk or crazy car driver can always pull out in front of you and just like that, you're lying on the side of the road in extreme pain until the emergency team arrives. Worse, you come home from the hospital paralyzed from the neck down.
My proposal is this: A helmet with a sensor that detects the continuity in your spinal cord and the severity of any impact, and in the event of an impact which would surely leave you a vegetable, and sharp blades quickly come down around your neck, make a quick sharp cut, and then a spring-loaded lever helps pop your head completely off (for dramatic effect). The result: a quick, painless death (and an amazing show for any bystanders). Think of the money you and your family would save from having you lying in a hospital bed for years. Although this seems traumatic for your loved ones, think of the alternative. And wouldn't you rather be remembered for a dramatic, bizarre death such as this than a slow, painful (for yourself or your family) death.
The only mention of the airbag helmet that I've seen. I know I've seen this in some motorcycle magazine before, too. [greasepig, Aug 29 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]
||A very simple mechanism would be to include a small block of Plastique in an ordinary motorcycle helmet, with an appropriate impact detonator...
||Yes, but you wouldn't want it to go off _every_ time, only if it was going to permanently disable you.
||This would be great for US-style football, too. When a receiver gets hit really really hard his head pops off or explodes. Yay team!