A jacket makes an impact on bike safety

November 13, 2008 9:42:30 PM PST
A new article of clothing aims to make traveling on a motorcycle safer.In a car you've got seat belts and air bags, while, on a motorcycle, nothing, until now.

There's a big new improvement in motorcycle safety and it is a jacket.

Riding a motorcycle can be risky business. There's not much room for error and you've got to constantly watch out for the other guy.

You're out there with virtually no protection.

So, it's not surprising that motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to die in an accident than people riding in cars.

Pennsylvania offers free motorcycle safety classes to help improve the odds.

The classes are booked solid.

Most are first time riders.

Many are looking for a cheaper commute, like college student Mario Ndini.

"I'm pretty sure it's going to cut my costs down a lot," Ndini of Springfield, Pa. said.

Students are required to wear the standard safety gear; helmets, eye protection, gloves and jackets.

But, they've never seen a jacket like this.

It's an airbag for motorcycle riders.

The jacket attaches to your motorcycle with a tether.

If the rider hits something and is thrown from the bike, the tether pulls free and triggers a Co2 cartridge, which inflates an inner bladder.

Joseph McPhatter says the jacket saved his life.

He rear-ended a car that cut him off on the highway at 70 miles per hour.

He flew 300 feet from his motorcycle.

Impact Jackets retail for just under $400.

There are several variations of the jacket on the market from a number of manufacturers.

There's even a digital version in the works that inflates even faster, without a tether.

And, by the way, it takes a pretty good tug to inflate the jacket accidentally, if you walk away with it still attached.

If you do, you can send it back to the factory for a new cartridge.

LINK: http://www.impactjackets.com


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