Windshields and airbags are just two of the many safety features bicyclists don’t have, unlike their automobile driving comrades. And while there’s nothing designers can really do about those (other than design sexier velomobiles or install bicyclist-friendly airbags into the exterior of cars), a Hungarian designer has created a concept for a bicycle helmet with three safety features that no car would ever come without: a headlight, a taillight, and turn signals.
Balázs Filczer's Dora helmet would not only reduce the number of gadgets bikers have to worry about (since the lighting and helmet would be attached), it would potentially eliminate the need for sticking hands out at intersections to let drivers know which way they’re turning. In places where drivers aren’t that sensitive to cyclists, I imagine that actual turn signals would make a bigger impact on drivers than hand signals. If someone’s only used to cars, the grammar of a car will translate better.
But that doesn’t mean the helmet is an entirely hands-free experience: Dora’s lights, activated by Bluetooth, are turned on through a control switch on the handlebars.
The helmet concept was pitched at the International Bicycle Design Competition in October where it took home the award for its category of clothing and accessories. The product is just a concept, it’s unclear how much it would weigh (which could ultimately make or break its useability). Typically, bike helmets weight about 285 grams, and adding lights clearly adds to that. But if they worked, the accident prevention could be enormous. Then there might be less need for a helmet to record the license plate of the jerk who hit you.