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More "Opinions" on the Safety of Helmets

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by V2, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. Ran across this recently.

    Probably some truth to it. Helmet standards require some odd tests which require stronger and heavier helmets to pass the tests. A heavy helmet on your head is not always the best in a crash!

    Approved helmets are ‘dangerous’

  2. how does one become accredited as a "Helmet Law researcher"

    sounds like.. "intern that had to do the boring research for the case" :D

    so.. he's like one of the anti-vaccine brigade? couple of hours internet "research" vs years of actual hands on design, testing and experience by helmet manufacturers? :D
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. #3 Al_Cam, Jul 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015
    Mmm.Would like to see if there were any cases of a helmet being hit by a "spear". Wonder what the logic behind that is.

    You have to pay a fee for a copy of the standard, O.k. that happens for things like the Building Codes which is a weighty thing to print, but $692 for the current Helmet Standard. What The?
  4. I don't think any standard is overly prescriptive. In the AS case, I think it's a tolerance limit the helmet must fall within when tested to be "compliant". So anything with the AS sticker is just as "safe" as another (in accordance with the standard).

    For all you really know the HJC has crapper lining, sound proofing, paint and plastic than a Shoei hence it's 1/10th of the price. Doesn't mean it's any less "safe" or not to a degree that would potentially be noticeable in the eyes of the standard...

    Engineering standards are so annoying (take this from an engineer) like that.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. interested what you base this on. The whole argument from the self perpetuating Australian industry is that AS helmets are somehow MORE safe than those made to other standards
  6. To cover every possible situation engineers calculate something that seems reasonable and then multiply by ten. That covers them for "unknown unknowns." There has to be a better way, but just not yet.
  7. I agree - there is no shortage of self professed experts out there!

    I agree also - the code is $50 from Standards Australia and you can get a preview copy for free. Tried to attached the contents page (not sure if this will work) but looks like the standard is only very small (Appendix starts on page 11) so its likely to be one of those codes with much interpretation and no real meat!

    Attached Files:

    • x.pdf
      File size:
      343.9 KB
  8. Maybe wait until you've read the article before passing judgment hey?

    Cause if you had read it and understood it then you would know that most of the Australian research used in it was paid for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau... or that a majority of the international research used was taken from the COST 327 study, a study that eventually resulted in the ECE 22.05 helmet standard, you know that one they use in MotoGP as well as being a legal standard in 50 other countries worldwide... in places like the UK, Germany and New Zealand?

    You'd also know that the Australian data was from 174 SA motorcycle fatalities and over 400 fatal and non fatal NSW accidents and that in the only 3 studies done over the last 27 years in Australia in regards to facial injuries or skull fractures in relation to motorcycle helmets, all have made the same recommendation that a chin bar test be included in the standard... like the chin bar test derived from the COST327 study and used in ECE 22.05, the chin bar test adopted by Formula 1.

    You also would have seen the helmet heatmap from the NSW crash data released last month that showed 65% of damage done to a helmet is on the chin bar.

    You'd also know all the gory details about the research done in 1996 that looked specifically at helmet mass in regards to skull fractures and the finding that helmets greater then 1.5kg increase the risk of skull fracture and had you bothered to check the citations in google you would see that the research (Konrad et. al.) is basically cited almost everywhere throughout the world when another researcher discusses anything about helmet weight and its effect on head injury... and had you read the article, you would have seen the comparison between ECE helmet weight and AS standard helmet weight in the end that showed our that 87% of full face helmets exceed this weight.

    Oh, and finally, had you read it you would know that not 1 single item is that document is my opinion. Every single statement made is directly quoted from the research.

    ps: I know this cause I wrote it and no I'm not an intern... and if anyone has any legitimate questions based on what they've read, feel free to post them up and I'll answer them for you if I can.

    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. Are we seriously questioning the spear test as being irrelevant?Seriously?

    Never ridden past a tree full of branches and wondered what would happen if you went head first into them?

    Never ridden past a steel post fence and wondered what would happen if you went head first into it?

    This one goes out to timktimk I read the article, and went on to read your website. Nice work and thanks for putting that together for the masses, very interesting read and conclusion.

    I guess in QLD we should go buy ECE compliant helmets then?
    • Agree Agree x 3
  10. Doesn't use the word 'accredited' so you can certainly take his opinion as non-expert IMO.

    I wouldn't make a claim for him to be an expert any more than I am (well, maybe a little more). But at the heart of the article is nevertheless a damning indictment about the lawmakers knowing very little either, and being more focused on making a buck out of the sale of the rights to the standard than they are about safety outcomes.
    SAI Global haven't shown a micron of interest in cleaning up the shameful situation that the sale created.

    Very relevant in light of Queensland's rather remarkable decision.
  11. Yes we are, there are a few reasons for this

    1. Statistically, penetration deaths are relatively uncommon and using the data from the NSW research released last month, we see our crash configurations are similar to those of the COST 327 study, in fact, Australian motorcyclists hit less objects and more cars then Europeans.

    2. It's a common misconception that the spear penetration test will save you from having a branch go through you head... in most circumstances it won't. It's called the spear penetration test as it a "methodology" and in the case of AS1698 it is performed as follows 'The helmet is placed onto a headform then a steel spike “striker” (3kg and pointed) is raised 3m above the helmet and dropped. The helmet must ensure that there will be no contact between the striker and the headform at any point tested within a specified area. '.

    As such, how this relates to a fully kitted 100kg motorcyclist travelling through the air at say 80kph into a fixed unmovable object is yet to be established... and chances are, based on injury statistics and impact points from all the relevant research, the branch will go through the front of face anyways.

    3. The spear penetration test requires helmets to be made thicker and helmet liners stiffer, in the case the helmet did manage to stop the branch from impaling in your head, chances are, the failure of helmet to provide any decent sort of deceleration properties means that force will be transferred to your neck and you'll probably die from a skill fracture or broken neck anwyays.

    If you value you head you will ;)
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Yeah I understand the point you're making with the spear test. But like any test, it needs to be performed under strict controlled conditions simulating a possible real life event to compare apples against apples.

    Of course I tried to dig up a photo of an impaled helmet but couldn't find one. :)
  13. You hit the nail on the head here. The AS1698 standard is about testing methodologies that can be replicated.... Not testing methodologies that demonstrate the "safeness" of a helmet.

    There is a big difference between the two and the AS1698 spear penetration test is designed to test shell integrity and under ECE they do testing of shell integrity as well using a different methodology (with an anvil) and that allows manufacturers to produce a helmet that doesn't have a thicker shell just to pass a single test.
  14. Right...yeah an anvil would make more sense spreading the impact zone while being more reflective of a real life situation. Allowing for potentially thinner, lighter helmets. All good.
  15. Touche and will do.
    Twas a knee-jerk reaction to all the other henny-penny "omg the standards are unsafe" articles, but in this case more "jerk" than "knee" :)
    My apologies
    • Like Like x 1
  16. np. I hear what you are saying. There is a lot of misinformation out there/speculation etc and as such, I only used research undertaken by prominent or noted researcher(s) who are considered authorities by the research community in regards to their respective fields or whose work has formed the basis for the ECE 22.05 standard or whose work was funded by the ATSB.

    And as noted in the Motorbike Rider article, I really look forward to someone proving this research is wrong, cause I haven't been able to find a single piece of research which shows heavier, stiffer helmets or helmets without chin bar tests save lives or reduce injuries. Only the opposite.

    I would also add, that I'm not the first to present this information, just the first to present it in it's current format (along with the first to actual measure AS1698 helmet weights against the BSF threshold using data from CRASH).

    In saying that, here is a more user friendly read from the Motorcycle Council of NSW on standards and how they impact on performance and construction
    Standards - A Brief Review - Motorcycle Council of NSW
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. No... not ECE.

    • Informative Informative x 1
  18. Welcome to the forums Tim.

    Great piece of work.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Snell has a lot of the same testing requirements as AS1698 such as penetration testing and therefore, the same issues. Wear one if you want but I'd never support it.