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McComb Witten Marcoux

Our B.C. Bike Crash Lawyers Examine Cyclist Safety and the New Ultra-Strong Kranium Bike Helmet

Jeffrey S. Witten, B.A., LL.B.
Personal Injury Lawyer at McComb Witten Marcoux

Wearing a great helmet reduces your odds of needing the services of a Vancouver bike accident lawyer, physical therapy, and surgery after an accident. But what constitutes a truly great bike helmet?

This question fascinates our attorneys as well as elite cyclists and safety engineers. Consider, to that end, the work of Anirudha Surabhi, an industrial designer based in London, who recently developed a radical new kind of helmet based on—believe it or not—the anatomy of a woodpecker.

Surabhi chose the woodpecker as an inspiration because the little bird smashes its head into wood over 12,000 times every day, at speeds often in excess of 7 meters per second. Despite all this banging, woodpeckers do not suffer concussions or other brain damage. So what does a woodpecker know that we don’t? And how can our bike helmet technology reflect such insight?

Woodpeckers and Head Injury Research

Per Surabhi and other researchers, woodpeckers have adapted elegantly to their peculiar habit of banging their noggins on trees. Their Y-shaped hyoid bone extends all the way over the top of the skull. In many ways, it behaves like an ingenious safety belt to prevent the brain from jiggling. The skull and beak also work together in cool and unique ways. Cartilage separates the skull from the beak, and researchers believe this cushion behaves like a shock absorber and blunts the force imparted by the beak’s impact.

Surabhi and his team tried out an astonishing variety of materials to create woodpecker-mimicking helmets, including carbon fiber, cork, rubber, glass, and synthetics. Surabhi found that a special kind of honeycombed cardboard worked best because the hexagonal elements absorbed shock from multiple directions and also mimicked the birds' evolutionary design.

Will Surabhi’s Kranium helmets one day change the face of the biking industry? Will some other technology win the battle to protect our nation's cyclists?

These theoretical questions are fascinating. But, if you've recently been hurt in a crash, you're in search of practical answers to questions about how to get compensation, how to hold the driver who pushed you off the road responsible, and how to deal with ICBC claims headaches.

Look to the McComb Witten team today for guidance. We would be happy to provide a free consultation. Call us at 604-255-9018. You might also find it helpful to browse our free report, Your Family Doctor Could Make Or Break Your ICBC Claim.