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Posted on 09-20-2016

Hovding - New Airbag for Bicyclists Hopes to Prevent Whiplash In Bicycle Accidents

As a Baltimore Chiropractor that spends the majority of my time treating patients with auto accident injuries such as headaches, neck pain, and back pain I see more than my fair share of these injuries following Baltimore auto accidents. As the weather got better this summer I saw a shift towards more non-motor vehicle collision injuries. In particular, we started to see more bicycle vs. motor vehicle injuries and plenty of pedestrian versus motor vehicle injuries.

One of the advantages of being situated in a car if it is in a crash is the number of safety features that have been developed to help to minimize the risk of death and injury. In particular, seat belts and front and side curtain airbags really help an occupant to "ride down" a crash quickly to help absorb energy and minimize trauma to the soft and hard tissues of the body.

The problem when we see patients that are involved in bicycle versus motor vehicle collisions and pedestrian versus motor vehicle collision (hit by a car while walking) is that these safety features do not exist outside of a car. Well, that is until now.

Like many of you I spend a fair amount of my work day watching cat videos on youtube, watching the latest lip sync battles on line and following the latest viral video trends. Sometimes this is actually a useful endeavor and I discover things that are new and trending that impact society and my chiropractic practice.

Recently I came across an interesting produce out of Sweden called Hovding. It is essentially an airbag for bicyclists. It has built in sensors that determine if it believes a cyclist is going to suffer an impending crash and it deploys, in an attempt to function as a car airbag and to protect and cradle the head and neck of the cyclist. You can see a link to the Hovding website here and to their facebook page with interesting demonstration videos here.

It's got a very simple design. It has an anchor brace that circles the neck. It has a hood that deploys in case it senses an impending crash, and it has an air tank that fills the hood when necessary that rests on the back the cyclist. It has a series of sophisticated sensors that determine when it needs to deploy. It even records the crash details and collects the data for future product enhancements.

Given the trends towards urbanization and decreased dependence on fossil fuels I see more and more riders taking to their bicycles in the future. An invention such as Hovding could go a long towards decreasing or eliminating concussions, headaches, and neck pain in those that choose to ride bicycles. I think it is a great invention whose time has come. Detractors point to its price point of $300 euros (approximately $335 US as of the time of this blog post) and say that it is too expensive. I personally think that its a small price to pay to help protect the only brain, spinal cord, and neck we will ever have.

If you, or someone you know, has been injured as a result of a bicycle injury in Baltimore, please contact Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic at (443) 842-5500. We would be happy to help!

Dr. Gulitz

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