Nov 01, 2011, By Mike Braxton, Founder of Impact Safe-T Armor, ©Copyright 2011, MiniGPX.com
In just over a decade, three of our sports rising stars have passed away while competing at the pinnacle of Moto-2 & MotoGP. The years were 2003, 2010 and 2011. Each rider died due to complications from the deadly combination of sustained simultaneous heart and brain impact trauma. Additionally, a young talented rider competing in the British Superbike series lost his life this past August. Cause of death was the same.
To improve the odds of rider survivability in the future, impact forces to the head and chest(mainly the chest) must be reduced. In the head & brain area, helmet makers have made tremendous strides in improving the helmets ability to dissipate the forces of impact energy. Helmets are mandatory. As for the chest & heart region, reducing this areas continued exposure to the raw forces of deadly impact energy is essential and immediate. Once accomplished, this will improve attending medical personnel's chances of possibly stabilizing the rider after said traumatic event. It has been proven time and again that when individuals wear properly designed and fitted chest protection, their odds of surviving elevated levels of impact energy to the chest area are significantly improved. This technology exists today.
Back protectors are mandatory in competition while wearing a chest protector is not. Shouldn't we be asking ourselves, Why? Are we saying wearing a chest protector will save a riders life in all situations? No. Would wearing one have saved any of our three stars and the UK's talented rider? Sadly, we'll never know. However, what we can say for certain is that your chances of surviving such a traumatic racing accident without wearing one(chest protector) is nil.
When the four wheeled racing community faced increasing deaths due to fire, they required drivers to wear fire suits. Then it was fire retardant underwear, socks, shoes and gloves. The full hooded (nomex) balaclava replaced the (nomex)handkerchief, along with a fire retardant liner for the helmet,oxygen supply and on board fire suppression. Again, mandatory. When deaths due neck injuries became an issue, the Han's device and other head restraint systems were made mandatory. Furthermore, it is required, through regulation, that certain standards be adopted in the design of the car to improve driver survivability. In the case of our sport, "The rider is the car". Can't we do better?..... NOW?