Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Use Your Head

New helmet testing method more realistically recreates accident impacts

03 July 2021

Use Your Head

It’s a hard day at the office for this crash test dummy, which is being put through its paces by being smashed against a metal pillar while wearing an assortment of cycle helmets. Brain injuries resulting from cycling accidents can cause issues including memory loss or problems concentrating, even years after the original incident. Bike helmets are usually only tested for how well they protect against right-angled impacts, mimicking what happens when a rider falls off a stationary bike. But most cycling accidents happen while the cyclist and their bike are moving, hitting the ground or other objects at a slanted angle. This dummy is part of a new helmet testing method that more accurately recreates the directional forces involved in accidents at speed, providing better safety data that will help to inform manufacturers and cyclists about the kinds of protection offered by different helmets and how to improve them.

Written by Kat Arney

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