Bicycle helmet covers look like, serve as normal hats


Hatlike helmets for bicyclists designed by Nippon Parade, a producer of orchestra uniforms, and a job-placement group for senior citizens have been generating interest from both old and young riders alike since their release in October, according to the company.

The Tokyo Foundation for Employment Services said the elderly tend to shun typical bike helmets on the market that are designed for competitive riders, saying they want to wear helmets for safety but find it hard or embarrassing to do so.

The foundation consulted Nippon Parade, which came up with eight hatlike designs that meet international safety standards.

Its helmets are essentially a hat attached on top of the helmet. The cover also can be changed and the hat can be used by itself.

Of about 2,000 fatal bicycle accidents between 2009 and 2011, 64 percent were blamed on head injuries, according to the Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis.

Nippon Parade President Manabu Ito, 52, said the firm has even received many inquiries from young people, as well as police forces and local governments.

The helmets, priced from ¥7,580, are sold at the company’s online shop and other places.

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