How motorcycle helmets were invented and became popular
According to recent research, helmets help to reduce serious head injuries by over 60%, reduce the number of deaths that occurred in accidents by almost 42%.
Those numbers showed the importance of wearing helmets while riding motorcycles. But do you know how this important protective gear was invented? You may not care about the history of motorcycle helmets, but knowing a bit about their origin will help you more respect them.
Who discovered the motorcycle helmet?
It was not until the 1970s that helmets were required to all motorcyclists, however, helmets had already existed for decades before it became mandatory. Having to say that, Dr. Eric Gardner and Mr. Moss are the two first inventors of this safety gear.
Dr. Eric Gardner is a medical officer who witnessed motor racers got head injuries frequently. In 1914, he decided to corporate with Mr. Moss from Bethnal Green to create a helmet with canvas covered by a hard resin called shellac.
This kind of helmet is able to hold out against hard hits. This design was quickly developed into a motorcycle helmet in the same year and was presented before the Auto-Cycle Union. However, the Union refused to force all riders to wear helmets originally.
Carry out the mission of protecting people
Facing the increasing number of motorcyclists who got head injuries and died, the union finally approved the idea of making helmets become obligatory at the Isle of Man TT Races in 1914.
Because riders were used to ride motor with naked heads, they loathed at first and denied to wear it. It was Gardner who brought 94 helmets with him to the race track and convinced the racers to put it on.
The helmet had a chance to prove its effect when a rider had almost lost his life if he wouldn’t have worn a helmet. The number of injured people in the races in 1914 dropped significantly compared to the previous year thanks to Dr. Garner’s effort.
Decades later, full-face helmets made its debut and started becoming a mandatory protective gear for all riders in every racing form.
A change in people’s minds about wearing helmets when riding motorcycles
In 1935, The death of a British soldier named T.E Lawrence who fought during World War I has raised people’s awareness about the importance of wearing helmets while riding motorcycles.
The story is retold that Lawrence lost his control by poor road quality(specifically a dip road), this took away his attention to the other two cyclists riding on the same road. Due to a sudden change of direction to avoid hitting the other two, he fell over and suffered a serious head injury.
He died after a few days of hospitalizing. Doctor Hugh Cairns who directly researched and analyzed the cause of Lawrence’s death and many other deaths taking place due to head trauma of motorcycle riders. His findings served as a thought revolution for motorists.
Accordingly, the number of people wearing helmets increased significantly, especially military and civilian motorcyclists.
Understanding the importance of wearing a helmet when riding a motorbike, many countries including Britain have enforced a law related to this and it is still being applied in many countries around the world.