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TRL drive for better fitting helmets

Published: 06 February 2019

Updated: 06 February 2019

The Transport Research Laboratory are conducting extensive research into helmet fitment to help increase safety in the event of an accident.

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The UK team, led by Stephen Jowitt, have been using advances in 3D scanning and printing to assess whether improvements can be made to helmet fitment.

The research is a follow up to a 2014 study, which delivered some shocking results.

Half of UK riders using wrong sized helmet

From their research, the TRL discovered that approximately 25% of motorcyclists are wearing the wrong sized helmet. Roughly half of those are wearing a helmet one size too large, which may explain why a shocking 20% of respondents said their helmet had almost come off in a crash. This is compounded by many motorcyclists wearing helmets that are a poor fit for their headshape, masked by the amount of soft internal padding.

TRL calls for better helmet fitment guidelines following research

TRL research has shown that wearing an incorrectly sized or poorly fitting helmet increases the likelihood of the helmet coming off in the event of an accident. It has also shown that even if the helmet remains attached, a bad fit can significantly increase the chance of a head injury. Much of this comes from motorcyclists not trying on helmets properly in the first place.

The study also suggests approximately 25% of bikers buy helmets online, but only 3% of those try before buying.

The drive to improve helmet safety standards

To help improve the quality of helmet fitment, the TRL have been scanning bikers’ heads and comparing them to the generic headform used to test helmets. The TRL’s intention is to create a more representative headform that will be provided to the industry for use in testing, which should help to create better fitting crash helmets.

The TRL are also asking that more bikers fill out their survey to help them learn about buying and usage habits so they can suggest what else can be done to improve choice at the time of purchase. The survey takes just 10 minutes and could help save lives in the future. Head to this link to fill it in.

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