Can safety and fashion go well together? Sure it can. Nippon Parade just found the answer to pull Japanese cyclists from hesitation or the embarrassment of wearing safety helmets. Its new helmets look just like regular hats, except that they have also passed international safety standards.
Nippon Parade, a producer of orchestra uniforms, was consulted by the Tokyo Foundation for Employment Services, a job placement group for senior citizens, to come up with an idea to encourage the elderly to wear safety helmets while riding bicycles. Eight hat-like helmets were then designed and became available since October 2012. Although the new hat-helmets were designed for the elderly, interest among young riders has also sparked. President Manabu Ito also said that Nippon Parade has received inquires, not just from young people but also from local government offices, including police forces.
The Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis reported that about 2,000 bicycle accidents have occurred from 2009-2011. The institute also revealed that 64 percent were because of head injuries. Such number of fatal accidents in a span of two years is surely a concern that needs to be addressed.
The hat-like helmets are actually dual in purpose. The helmets are described as a hat attached on top of a helmet. If the hat is removed, it can still be used by itself. Nippon Parade said the helmets, which cost 7,580 yen (approx. 76 US dollars), are available on its online shop as well as other places.