Evolution of Motorcycle Safety

Take a look at the evolution of motorcycle safety. A lot has changed in terms of motorcycle safety in order to protect bikers and others involved in a motorcycle accident.

1928 – The classic American Perfecto motorcycle jacket invented by Irving Schott

1935 – Hugh Cairns begins research that would lead to the development of the motorcycle crash helmet

1940’s – British Army issued helmets to dispatch riders with either a cork shelled lid or a rubber one

1950’s – One-piece racing leather suit was first used by world champion motorcycle racer Geoff Duke

1953 – First patent on a motorcycle helmet was submitted by Professor C.F. “Red” Lombard

1954 – Roy Richter developed the Bell 500 helmet

1957 – The Snell Memorial Foundation was founded

1958 – California Highway Patrol required motorcycle officers to wear helmets

1960’s – Safety helmets had exteriors made of fiberglass, and interiors lined with polyurethane foam or cork

1960’s – American bikers start wearing leather chaps, adapted from cowboy gear

1961 – Australia introduced the world’s first mandatory motorcycle helmet law

1966 – Highway Safety Act of 1966

1971 – Bell developed the first full-face motorcycle helmet and first full-face off-road motorcycle helmet

1974 – U.S. Department of Transportation introduced their Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218 (FMVSS 218) for motorcycle helmets

1976 – Harry Hurt begins study of motorcycle crashes at USC with NHTSA funding

1980 – First motorcycle safety conference sponsored by MSF

1991 – First antilock brakes on motorcycles developed by BMW

1997 – National Agenda of Motorcycle Safety was developed with sponsorship from NHTSA and MSF

2012 – Racing suits with built-in air bags

2013 – 47 states and D.C. have helmet laws for motorcyclists

2014 – Helmets with GPS display