Although motorcycle helmets save countless lives, they can pose a challenge to emergency response personnel at accident scenes - the helmet needs to be removed, yet the patient's head should be moved as little as possible, in case there are any spinal cord injuries. While this sometimes results in the helmet having to be cut off, the prototype Voztec full-face helmet offers a simpler solution - with the release of one pin and two clips, the back of the helmet detaches and the front can be slid off.
Australia's John Vozzo first came up with the idea when he was in hospital with two broken legs, which were the result of a skydiving accident. His injuries left him temporarily unable to work, so he turned his attentions to developing a rear-entry skydiving helmet. After teaming up with business partner Mark Bryant, the concept was developed into a horse-racing helmet. Now, the duo are proposing a whole line of helmets that incorporate the Voztec rear-entry system, although the current focus is on a helmet for motorcyclists.
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Users put the helmet on by opening the hinged back section, sticking their head in, then tightening the ladder clips on either side. This will reportedly pull the helmet snug with their skull, while also positioning their chin firmly in its chin cup - the helmet doesn't incorporate a traditional chin strap, which can be subject to creeping, and is one more thing for paramedics to work around.
To take the helmet off, users just release the side clips to open up the back. In the case of an accident, however, the additional releasing of a prominent top-mounted emergency release pin will cause the entire back portion of the helmet to come off. Depending on the position of the wearer, the front should then simply be able to slide off, with no yanking on the head required.
The helmet is also designed to offer more protection to the jaw and temples than traditional full-face helmets, and to have a smoother, rounder exterior with less snag points. This is said to result in it being less likely to catch on obstacles, in the event of an accident.
In development since 2005, the Voztec helmet prototype is currently in its fifth generation. We look forward to seeing where it goes from here.
The video below illustrates how it works.