The Impact (Airbag) Jacket may not only be the future of motorcycle safety, but also the present. It is in use and saving lives now and could become standard issue for many more motorcyclists before too long, according to Alexander Ramirez, a retired Miami Dade County Police Officer. Mr. Ramirez served as an officer for 37 years and is currently a college professor, teaching criminal justice. In 2006, he became the first police officer to drive a motorcycle solo around the world.
“The I.P.J. Corp. owner, Charles Paige, provided an I.P.J., which I wore during the World Tour, where I witnessed an accident involving an escort rear end van,” Ramirez stated in an Impact Jacket informational memo. “I realized the deployment was too slow and suggested the I.P.J. Corporation accelerate the inflation. Years of costly research and development resulted in the Second Generation Impact (Airbag) Jacket. The Second Generation Impact (Airbag) Jacket redefines motorcycle safety with technological advances permitting the acceleration of the deployment to 30 milliseconds.”
The technology for the airbag jacket has been around for the better part of 15 years, and as the technology behind it has advanced over the years, so has the airbag jacket’s standing in the motorcycling community. The current version of the jacket tethers to the motorcycle with a small cable. If the motorcyclist is in a crash and is ejected from the bike, the tether punctures a carbon dioxide cylinder that then inflates internal bladders that protect the motorcyclist’s vital organs.
“The original I.P.J. has been credited for saving 16 motorcyclists’ lives to date,” read the Ramirez memo. “The first crashed at 80 mph and survived with a broken thumb!”
It is no wonder then that airbag jackets have drawn interest from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, are required for all motorcyclists in Australia and have been attached to pending legislation in England requiring the jackets for all motorcyclists. In addition, Brazil has enacted legislation requiring airbag jackets for all motorcyclists, and three American states are looking into pursuing similar legislation.
Despite all this, the Impact (Airbag) Jacket is not available at local motorcycle shops, because I.P.J. cannot initiate mass production due to a lack of funding.
[Did you know?: Motorcyclist death rates increased 55 percent from 2001 to 2008.]
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