Advanced Cycle Helmet Testing Protocols: Effects of Headform Type on Cycle Helmet Safety Performance during Oblique Impacts

Current certification standards establish minimum impact performance requirements for cycle helmets. These standards, however, do not use a biofidelic headform available to assess impact performance and do not assess impact performance for oblique impacts against angled surfaces, which better represent real-world collisions. The effect of these characteristics on head injury risk therefore requires further research to inform future advances in the biofidelity of cycle helmet testing and assessment protocols.

The differences in oblique impact performance between two different helmet models and two different headforms (EN 960 and the more biofidelic Hybrid III) were evaluated for four impact locations (crown, frontal, occipital and temporal regions). Helmets were mounted to each headform and impacted against a 45° angled anvil from a drop height of 3 m at each location.
Increased rotational accelerations and velocities were observed for the Hybrid III headform, when compared to the EN 960 headform, across both helmet models and all impact locations. Increased linear accelerations were observed across all impact locations for one helmet model only.

Advanced cycle helmet testing protocols should consider adopting the Hybrid III as their headform and ensure the effects of impact location are considered when evaluating cycle helmet impact performance.

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