Northamptonshire’s Silverstone Circuit hosted a demonstration of a pioneering bodysuit that uses red dye to automatically show injuries to paralysed motorcyclists after collisions.
The suit was revealed at Silverstone by its creators, postrgraduate students from Imperial College London, and former rider and GB skiing paralympian, Talan Skeels Piggins.
The new BRUISE suit, which is not yet commercially available anywhere in the world, is meant to be worn under leathers by disabled riders who have no nerve feeling in their arms or legs. If a crash occurs, the white suit is dyed with red markings at the area of impact. The stronger the force of impact, the darker the markings on the suit are displayed.
This will allow motorcycle riders, or anyone with paralysis, to gauge the severity of impact injuries, which can then help to get the most effective medical treatment.
Mr Skeels Piggins, who was left paralysed after a motorcycle crash in 2003 and now runs workshops at Silverstone Circuit for disabled riders, said: “With any motorsport there’s an element of danger and crashes can occur.
“Whereas able-bodied riders can immediately sense the severity of an injury, riders like myself have no idea. Unless my leg is sticking out at a strange angle I’ve got no idea if I’ve fractured a bone or if it’s just a bump.
“The technology that the students have created will be absolutely crucial for riders and medics administering treatment.”
BRUISE was created by the students as part of the Rio Tinto Sports Innovation Challenge, a programme which which started alongside the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to create equipment for disabled athletes to use in their training and competition.
One of the students involved, Adam Kong, said: “As well as motorcycle riders, the suit could have benefits for wheelchair rugby players, wheelchair basketball and sit-skiers.
“We are very excited about the potential for the project.”