On a motorcycle, cruising down Louisiana’s scenic byways, like the Natchez Trace Parkway or the Creole Nature Trail, brings an exhilarating sense of freedom and adventure. However, it also exposes you to potential hazards. Recent statistics suggest that as a motorcyclist, you are 24 times more likely to die in a crash than a car occupant and 40 times more likely than those riding in light trucks.

This increased vulnerability is due to motorcycles’ lack of safety features, like crumple zones, seatbelts, or airbags. To protect yourself, you can wear safety gear like a motorcycle airbag jacket, which inflates upon impact to cushion and reduce the risk of serious injuries.

Read on to learn more about this device, its effectiveness, and tips for choosing the right one. If you’re involved in a crash, a Louisiana motorcycle crash attorney at Dudley DeBosier can protect your rights and guide you through the insurance claims process.

What is a Motorcycle Airbag Jacket?

A motorcycle airbag jacket is an innovative piece of safety gear designed to improve riders’ protection in a crash. It resembles a regular motorcycle jacket but incorporates airbag technology that deploys upon impact.

The jacket has sensors and a triggering mechanism to detect sudden acceleration or impact. When triggered, a CO2 cartridge inflates the airbag within milliseconds, creating a protective buffer around the rider’s body. This buffer reduces the force of impact on critical areas such as the back, chest, and neck.

The airbag jacket reduces the risk of serious injuries, like broken bones, disfigurement, or spinal cord damage, by cushioning the rider in a collision. In addition to other safety gear like helmets, eye protection, and riding clothing, airbag jackets can provide extra protection.

Are Airbag Jackets Worth It?

Motorcycle airbag jackets can cost around $600 to $1,200, depending on the style and brand. But they might be worth the price if they can protect you from serious injury or death.

The U.S. military endorses the use of airbag jackets, citing the survival of professional racetrack drivers after crashes at 100 miles per hour. MotoGP has required all riders to wear airbag gear to protect them in high-speed crashes since 2018.

However, some studies have found inconsistent information on the effectiveness of airbag jackets. A 2019 study found that among 27 individuals involved in motorcycle accidents, those wearing airbag jackets reported a sense of protection during low-speed falls. It also noted that in more severe scenarios, such as direct impacts at about 25 mph or falls at speeds of 37 mph, airbag jackets did not prevent all serious injuries to the trunk.

Researchers suggest this technology requires further studies to determine its effectiveness. Not only are minimal studies available, but every accident is different in speed, angle, and impact force.

However, if you ride often, having extra protection that can prevent direct contact with the road and reduce the severity of your injuries is worthwhile.

What to Look for When Buying a Motorcycle Wearable Airbag

At Dudley DeBosier, we understand the severity of motorcycle injuries. If you are considering purchasing a motorcycle airbag jacket, knowing which features to prioritize can maximize your safety. Follow these tips to select a jacket that could be life-saving in the event of an accident:

  • Trigger Mechanism: Mechanical systems engage through a tether connected to the motorcycle, while electronic systems use sensors and algorithms to detect a crash. Each type is effective, so choose based on your riding style and preference.
  • Coverage Area: The best options cover the torso, neck, back, and sometimes even shoulders and hips. More coverage means better chances of minimizing injuries in various impact scenarios.
  • Fit and Comfort: Ensure the jacket fits well and feels comfortable. It should be snug but not restrictive, allowing for freedom of movement while riding.
  • Durability and Weather Resistance: Motorcycle rides can expose you to various weather conditions, especially in Louisiana’s rainy seasons. Choose an airbag jacket made from durable materials like Gore-Tex that can withstand wear and tear and offer resistance to water and wind.
  • User Reviews and Ratings: Research what other riders say about their experiences with different airbag jackets. User reviews can provide insight into the product’s reliability, comfort, and satisfaction.
  • Price and Warranty: Balance your budget with the cost of quality jackets. Compare prices and check the warranty for length and coverage, including repair or replacement. A warranty offers peace of mind for your investment.

Taking safety measures, like wearing an inflatable motorcycle jacket, can protect you in a crash. However, that doesn’t mean you might not suffer injuries and damage to your bike.

At Dudley DeBosier, our experienced lawyers can defend your rights as a motorcycle rider and guide you through the legal steps following an accident that wasn’t your fault. We’re committed to ensuring you receive fair treatment from insurance companies and will highlight your use of safety gear to demonstrate responsible riding to maximize your compensation claim.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident due to a driver’s negligence, contact us today for a free consultation to learn your legal options.

Disclaimer: This content has been reviewed by Chad Lederman, Director of Legal Operations at our New Orleans office.

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