Helmet cams are safe-ish
21st January 2016
Go Pro cameras | Motorcycles | BBC | TRL
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Hard to believe the recent news that anyone went to all the expense and trouble to figure out whether or not wearing a helmet camera can cause you injury or death, but the BBC and the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) certainly got a lot of underwear in a tangle over it. During the Summer of 2015, Auntie Beeb commissioned the TRL to find out exactly what might happen if a helmet camera suddenly turned around and bit the user. And the TRL, happy to earn an extra shilling or two, obliged.
So having spent X thousands of pounds during most of the autumn, the conclusions were recently published, and although motorcycle helmets were not specifically tested, the consensus was the such cameras are probably not as dangerous as was originally panicked over.
The tests were conducted with cycling and skateboard type lids upon which the TRL mounted cameras (top, front and side actually), and then threw the lids around and dropped them from a predetermined height in a controlled environment. Finally they pulled out the clipboards and biros and recorded the minutiae of the experiments.
The upshot is that X x Y x E=MC2, plus or minus a complicated Euclidean equation sub-divided by the Collatz Conjecture multiplied by Fermat's Last Theorem and the colour turquoise could, in some circumstances, possibly, maybe, theoretically exacerbate an injury from a helmet camera if you slid eighty feet down a rock face and jammed the gizmo into your mush, or if you were train surfing and didn't duck far enough when the aforementioned train slipped into an unexpected tunnel.
The same concerns exist if your hang glider collapses at 2,000 feet and you land hard on any part of your Go Pro, or if you cycle at maximum velocity into a particularly fat BBC controller or a government boffin.
In other words, these cameras might hurt a little or a lot in certain unlikely, inevitable or uncontrollable circumstances. Meanwhile, there's no real evidence that the human race is going to be wiped out by these cyclopean devices at any time in the foreseeable future.
Naturally, we could have told you that for nothing. We also could have told you that a disproportionate number of helmet camera users are likely to be engaged in activities that are considerably more dangerous than, say, sitting in a nuclear bomb shelter, eating yoghurt and watching cartoons.
Therefore, if you're in the market for a helmet camera and are thinking of attaching it to your lid whilst riding your motorcycle at anything above walking speed, you've every chance of being killed or maimed by something ... well, else. But for God's sake be careful, will ya? There are some dangerous alarmists lurking around, and one of them probably has your name tattooed somewhere on his or her person.
Just remember, helmet cameras ain't just safe: they're DANGEROUSLY safe.
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