An Australian study has found that helmet-mounted accessories do not increase the risk of head or neck injuries.  Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) Center for Road Safety conducted testing to determine whether helmet-mounted devices constitute an additional danger to riders.

Noting that conventional impact (drop) tests contained in British Standard (BS) 6658:1985 “Specification for protective helmets for vehicle users” does not replicate a rider’s head and neck injury risk in a real-world motorcycle crash, the agency developed its own test parameters.

The agency used an “oblique test method” in the study, where the tested helmets impact a moving striker plate.  TfNSW said that this kind of test is a more “biofidelic” (human-like) test.  Accordingly, they conducted 220 impact tests in this way with various helmets and attachments.

Areas tested

The helmet areas struck included:

  • Front lateral
  • Helmet rim lateral
  • Rear lateral
  • Crown

TfNSW’s helmet testing fixture. Image credit: TfNSW

Items tested

The six helmet models tested included:

  • Airoh Storm
  • RJays Apex
  • Roof Cooper
  • Scorpion Boulevard
  • Scorpion Vintage
  • Shark Ridill

Finally, the devices tested included:

  • Drift Ghost 4K
  • Go-Pro camera
  • NuViz heads up display unit (mounted on chin bar)
  • Scala communication unit
  • Sena Bluetooth communication unit

Results

Once testing was completed, it was determined:

“…that attaching a camera or communication device to a motorcycle helmet does not, on average, increase the risk of head or neck injury to the person wearing the helmet, in a crash.” 

While TfNSW did see some adverse results, they found that:

“…there were no discernible patterns to these and the overall injury risk in these scenarios was marginal.”

Ultimately the study concluded:

“Based on the findings, that devices appropriately attached to helmets do not significantly increase the
risk of head or neck injury, Transport for NSW instituted a policy change that allows for devices to be
attached to helmets, so long as the attachments do not compromise the structure and integrity of the
helmet.”

If you would like to read the study and report in full, you can find it at Transport for New South Wales, Center for Road Safety.

 

 

 

 

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