After several successful endeavors in technology and mass production, human intelligence began focusing on enhancing the safety of the manufactured products (Neiman 216). One of the products that often predispose people to serious road hazards is a motorcycle. Due to its association with several road carnages and fatalities, the motorcycle inventors sought to develop the motorcycle helmets as remedies to minimize the impact of the cycling injuries that lead to serious crashes and head impacts. Due to their safety proof, America and other developed nations have implemented various motorcycle helmet legislation to support their effective manufacturing and use to reduce the head impacts (Neiman 221). As time goes, helmet technology seems to reshape rapidly to enhance skull protection. This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the helmet product, its ethical concerns, its designing, and its end success.
Helmet, as the most precious safety equipment, has a long history in its innovation and progress across the world (Melissa 230). Pipe explains that the idea behind the development of helmets began with the tragic death of Lawrence of Arabia, who was an infamous and honored British soldier, who fought during the First World War (24). His military career was so relevant to the British government, and his historical participation in the British military exists in books until today. According to Pipe (39), his mysterious death from head injuries after a tragic motorbike crash caught the attention of the politicians and civilians. Several people mourned his death including the neurosurgeon, Dr. Hugh Cairns, who felt deeply hurt by the death of Lawrence. This historical tragedy, according to Melissa (219), inspired an innovation on how to protect motorcyclists from the head injuries, when they encounter a crash
The helmet innovation began with the development of the Crash Helmet. It began when Professor C.F. Lombard of the South California University, designed and patented a motorbike helmet (Pipe 85). The first design began with the development of the internal layer, which was to absorb shock and disperse the shock impact. The first problems with the design were the shape, the weight, and the method of securing the helmet from the head itself (Pipe 35). The helmets were extremely heavy, prone to damage, affected the head comfort of the riders, and could hardly absorb the impacts during the motorbike crashes (Pipe 43). Other helmets comprised of leather material, which was thin and soft, thus . The riders required lighter helmets with a well-shaped internal side. This means that the traditional materials were incapable of meeting the required helmet standards.
The Problem-Solving Methods
At the beginning of the 1970s, the Snell Memorial Foundation initiated the first design standards for the motorcycle helmets in the United States to improve the helmet innovation (Melissa 225). The initial solutions to dealing with helmet safety were legal and included the of 1966 and the formation of the American National Safety Standards for motorbike helmets (Pipe 119). Such endorsements of the helmet standards brought about the enactment of helmet manufacturing standards. Helmets from the cork coating and fiberglass shells then emerged as part of the helmet manufacturing standards (Pipe 102). The helmets became popular because they than the earlier models. Although the helmets managed to protect the main parts of the head, they failed to offer protection to the vital parts of the face. The riders were still vulnerable to the crash impacts.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Methods
The first advantage of the helmets made of cork coating and fiberglass was their resistance to crash. Such innovations enhanced the protection of the skull from the crash injuries (Granacher 286). The second advantage of these forms of helmets was their ability to protect people from the dust and offer a comfortable ride without any significant disturbances in the inner part of the helmets. The first disadvantage of the improved helmets was the absence of facial protection such as the eye shields, the faceplates, or any form of face protection (Granacher 301). Such designs of the motorbike helmets offered minimal protection to the crucial parts of the face. People continued to die, while others encountered serious skull injuries and facial bruises. It was until late 1981s when they introduced helmets with aerodynamic designs.
The Critical Parts of Design and Development Process
The critical parts of the motorcycle helmets included the headcover for the head protection, facial protection, ventilation, ear protection, and the impact shields. The early development of the helmet began with the thin and soft leather ordinary leather, which acted as the head covers (Granacher 315). Later, motorbike manufacturers, Mr. Moss, and Dr. the cork linings, fiberglass shells, polystyrene material, and canvas to create the head covers (Granacher 423). Although most parts of the head seemed protected and safe from the crash impacts, the sections of the face were still vulnerable. The facial protection was missing and the helmet innovation still seemed ineffective (Granacher 455). In the 1980s, the protective face glasses emerged as a means of providing facial protection. The then later developed to the facedown and the face-up models, which are now prominent among the riders.