Let me be real right from the start. I have been in two (YES, TWO!) extremely serious bike accidents and didn’t wear a bike helmet either time. The first accident resulted with me going to the emergency room and having a brain scan, as well as memory loss from that accident. The second time happened in front of a college tour group, me with a bloody face and still having to go to class. Both could have easily avoided injuries if I had worn a helmet. Now that I’m a little older and care more about how my hair looks, wearing a helmet is still a hassle. I know I should have learned my lesson by now, but it is a chore to first FIND a helmet that fits your head comfortably. Then, you need to carry that helmet after you park your bike and carry it around since it won’t fit in your purse or backpack. But then again, it is nice to not have to go to the hospital or suffer from memory loss. There is hope, though!
Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin are the two imaginative and inventive Swedish women that have come up with the “invisible” helmet. You heard it right – invisible! You can really have safety and fashion in one! These ladies start by saying, “We’re going to save the world with this” with which I completely agree with. They have revolutionized safety for bike riders with their product. The new device, which they’ve name the “Hövding”, is described as an invisible helmet, but it isn’t really invisible or a helmet. It’s a collar that inflates when an accident occurs, using similar technologies as airbags in cars. You wear it around your neck and when there is impact, it pops around and over your head like a hood and resembles a motorcycle helmet. The collar also uses a “black box,” like in the cockpit of a plane, that records the last 10 seconds of movement before the accident occurs. In addition, it comes in a standard black cover as well as a more stylish patterned one. It is so discrete that it looks like you’re wearing a scarf. This cover is washable which is one less thing you have to worry about. Honestly, this is an amazing invention and will help so many people because it’s so easy and reliable.
As of right now, each “invisible” helmet costs $600 and, like airbags, can’t be reused. Although expensive, you can’t put a cost on your safety or how much you’ll spend if you’re in a severe accident. All you have to do with with the hövding is charge it, zip it and snap it on. Simple and safe. Knowing how accident prone I am while riding my bike, I know I’ll be investing in one ASAP. Anna and Terese have certainly inspired me because their values aren’t limited to this product. “We want to encourage others to follow in our footsteps and dare to demand something better, to stand out from the crowd, and believe in themselves and their own capabilities. We may be a small company but we think big and we aim high.” That applies to all parts of our lives, and by being a little safer, will allow all of us to achieve more.