Park & Diamond have exceeded $50,000 goal more than 12 times over – though we’re not sure about their injury stats
A folding baseball cap style cycle helmet launched by a US start-up founded by two former SpaceX engineers has exceeded its $50,000 crowdfunding target more than 12 times over – although we’re not convinced by the stats the people behind it cite in their campaign.
So far, Brooklyn, New York-based Park & Diamond has received pledges totalling almost $650,000 on the crowdfunding website.
The name of the business – set up by two former SpaceX engineers – is derived from the intersection where the sister of Dave Hall, one of the co-founders was injured in a hit-and-run incident and sustained head injuries that led to her spending four months in a coma.
Thankfully, she has since recovered, but the assertion on the campaign page that she was “one of 85,000 Americans to suffer a traumatic brain injury from cycling-related accidents that year.”
We have no idea where that statistic comes from – it isn’t sourced – ibut n 2015 there were an estimated 45,000 cyclists injured in total in the United States, up around 2 per cent from a decade earlier.
Likewise, towards the top of the Indiegogo page, a photo of a bare-headed cyclist is accompanied by a caption that reads, “Recent stats show that 97 per cent of cyclists who died in accidents were not wearing a helmet.”
Now that one is sourced, to a New York City Department of Transportation study analysing statistics from 1996-2005, so “recent” is perhaps stretching it a bit.
One inference from that caption, however, is that those deaths were all attributable to head injuries sustained while not wearing a cycle helmet – something not borne out by looking more closely at the study.
But the study also highlights that just one cyclist fatality during that decade happened in a designated bike lane – indeed since then, the casualty rates of bike riders in New York City have tumbled as more dedicated infrastructure has been built.
That highlights something that Chris Boardman has repeatedly said – that making cyclists wear helmets is not even among the top 10 things that can be done to increase their safety.
Questions over statistics and the helmet debate aside, the Park & Diamond Foldable Bike Helmet is proving a huge hit on Indiegogo – it’s now two thirds of the way to hitting the million-dollar mark in backing with three weeks of its campaign left.
Find out more here.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.