Previous helmet impact research has indicated that current helmet performance, although beneficial, could be improved. TRL have demonstrated that improved helmet design has the potential to increase protection by more than 60% during both linear and oblique impacts and if all riders wore helmets with this level of safety performance, up to 100 lives a year could be saved in the UK (Mellor et al., 2007). The S0232/VF project (Motorcyclists’ Helmets and Visors – Test Methods and New Technologies) recommended a test protocol which specified a series of tests onto flat and kerb anvils at 6m/s and 9.5m/s in order to assess the performance of current helmets against the current state of the art of helmet design.
This project involved subjecting five UN ECE 22.05 approved motorcycle helmet models to a series of linear and oblique dynamic impact tests specified by the Department for Transport (DfT). The objective was to ensure that the test and assessment protocols proposed as the basis of a consumer information programme are robust and suitable to allow their implementation. The protocols are based on the findings and recommendations made by the DfT project SO232/VF (Motorcyclists’ Helmets and Visors – Test Methods and New Technologies) and a collaborative European project (European Co-operation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research, Action 327), known as COST 327. TRL was commissioned to complete a series of linear and oblique impacts at 6m/s, 8.5m/s and 9.5m/s and to provide technical comment on their appropriateness and suitability for implementation.

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