Wearing a bike helmet is one of the most important safety rules of cycling. It can mean the difference between life and death in the event of a cycling accident. All bike helmets in the US must pass a series of safety tests. However, these test often don’t take into account the different angles you might hit your head upon impact or varying speeds at which the accident could occur.
A new safety rating system was developed by Virginia Tech and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to ensure that cyclists are aware of how well helmets on the market are protecting them from injury. The study concluded that, though no helmets failed the new testing, some helmets provide more protection against injury than others.
How The New System Differs From The Old
IIHS, along with Helmet Lab, tested 30 popular adult bike helmets to standards that simulate more real-world bike accidents. The helmets were tested by a standardized Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) rig that created an impact on the side and front rim of the helmet. This is not usually a part of the required safety testing system used by the CPSC. With a dummy head, the team also created an asphalt road-like structure from 80-grit sandpaper to ensure a simulation that was as close to a real-world accident as possible.
The team embedded sensors in the helmets as they tested different speeds and impact locations to create a final safety rating system. These test measured acceleration and rotational velocity to correctly determine possible concussion risks. Out of 30 helmets, 4 received a 5 star rating, the highest of the rating system.
The test were done to give cyclists an evidence-based tool to make an educated decision when purchasing a helmet to reduce risk of injury. The team also hopes that the manufacturers of the helmets tested use the information to improve the safety of their products. The team will continue test in different styles of helmets, including mountain bike and BMX helmets. They also are planning on conducting a series of tests on youth helmets in the coming weeks.
Questions About a Cycling Accident?
If you’ve been hurt in a cycling accident and need assistance on how to move forward, then you should speak with an attorney to determine possible options for recovering compensation. The trusted San Diego cycling accident attorney Frederick Dudek could help you determine if these options exist for your situation.