An Airbag for Equestrians

Competitive horseback riding can be a dangerous sport, killing or maiming athletes. Some riders have begun wearing jackets that inflate when they are thrown off their mounts:

The two-pound vest is attached by a cord to a rider’s saddle and is worn over a traditional protective vest made of high-density foam. When a rider is thrown from a horse, the cord is yanked, puncturing a cartridge of carbon dioxide and inflating the vest. The vest can be reused after the cartridge is replaced. Point Two said its vest inflates in one-tenth of a second; Hit Air said its average rate is one-quarter of a second.


Link via DVICE | Photo: Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

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My boyfriend's mother uses these for eventing, and it is completely necessary, I have seen too many people fall and be paralyzed or worse, and I myself have had too many close calls falling on top of jumps. These are a great invention and should be made mandatory for eventing and cross country events.
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Those that don't die could end up with life altering disabilities too if their spine is damaged from the fall. Someone also mentioned about usage on a motorbike, and I can agree that you need more then just leathers to keep your body in tact in case of an accident.
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