Helmet safety ratings are out!

I have some doubts about that. Just because the impact happened at location A doesn’t mean it didn’t affect the structural integrity of the helmet at location B.


Are you an engineer? The engineers studying this contend it doesn’t, and I imagine they have data to back up their claims.

There are enough variables to discuss in the various studies and how they were conducted; we don’t need to bring opinion into the discussion


I’ve got a degree in physics. :woman_shrugging:

Yeah but that’s just like, your opinion, man.

Anyways, not sure why you’re on the warpath for me scrutinizing their scientific methods (which is why they publish that in the first place - so people can consider how that might affect the results), but let me try to take my “opinion” out of it.

If you take one of those cheap, round, christmas tins, and smash it on the ground, now you have a circle with a dent in it. If you turn the tin and smash it on the ground again, so an “undamaged” part makes contact with the ground, do you think that the only damage will occur in the new point of contact? Of course not, because the structural integrity of the circle has already been damaged and as the forces of impact work their way “around” the circle (not really what literally happens, but it’s a decent visual), they’re going to reach that previously compromised area. Or another example - take a post-it note and squish it between your hands, just so it makes a gentle arc. Now make a crease in that paper and do the same thing - all of the “bend” gets concentrated in that damaged area that is weakened - you’ll no longer have an arc, but something closer to two straight lines at an angle. Turn the sticky note 90 degrees and repeat now - you, might say “look, now it’s bending in a nice arc again!”, but if you look closely at the beginning stages of adding pressure, you’ll notice there’s a brief buckling stage before the paper “gives”. The damage from the previous experiment is still impacting the current one.

Now, if you constructed some sort of mechanism/stand that guaranteed that the impact to the helmet was localized to a specific area, that might reduce the effect of any previous damage to the helmet. This probably wouldn’t be very representative of a real world case though. At the very least, we would need to take that into consideration when interpreting the results of this study and recognize that that wouldn’t be testing the helmet as a whole. All that is a bit of a moot point though, as that’s not what appears to have been done with their pendulum rig that is outlined in their Equestrian STAR Protocol document.

As many others have already said, further testing needs to be done. Honestly, there’s probably even some number crunching with their current data that could be done if they wanted low-hanging fruit.

I’d also like to see this study repeated with their head/neck set to the 50th percentile for women, instead of just men. Women have lower bone density and lower muscle strength. I’m not sure it will change the rankings relative to each other very much, if at all, but it would be interesting to see. 3 concussions/30 impacts might seem like pretty good odds - but what if that same helmet came back with 10 concussions/30 impacts when worn by women?

But what do I know - I’m not an engineer. Just someone with opinions, so feel free to disregard.


No, they did not. They used 4 helmets in each brand/model.

ETA: There was a rumor floating around early on that helmets were hit 12 times which is where the clarification came from that they actually used 4 helmets per model/make and impacted each site once, per helmet.

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Will they be testing other helmet brands? Lots of people ride in KEP helmets and there was no testing on KEP. I’d also be interested to know recommendations regarding visors. If I recall correctly, Christopher Reeve was wearing a helmet when he had his fall, but the impact on the visor caused his neck to snap back. Since many of us are choosing visors with sun protection, I am also concerned about the safety of this choice.

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Ah okay thanks for the correction

Edit: Just clarifying since there were three impact sites, that means each individual helmet was hit 3 times?

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Yes I think so, there’s a Facebook group that is discussing this study a lot and recently just organized a webinar with the person who ran the study I think? Not sure, haven’t been able to look at the recording of it yet but I thought I remembered hearing that they’ll be covering more brands

Yes! Each helmet was hit at the front, back, and side. I sat in on the webinar with Dr. Miller last night, so it was fresh on my mind. I too was a little suspect of that so I wanted to hear him talk about it.

I’m sure the recording will be posted in the coming days on the fb group!