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Results from safety test on UK cycle helmets revealed

A range of new safety tests have been undertaken on popular UK cycle helmets to help improve cyclists safety on the roads.

The Road Safety Trust, dedicated to making the UK’s roads safest in the world, has funded Folksam, the Swedish insurance company, to expand their annual tests to include additional helmets available to UK consumers.

The research conducted by Folksam included 27 cycling helmets with 23 available on the UK market. Five physical tests were conducted, two shock absorption tests with straight perpendicular impact and three oblique impact tests. The tests were performed by Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), which is accredited for testing and certification in accordance with the European standard. Computer simulations were subsequently carried out to evaluate the risk for concussion.

Eight helmets were given the ‘recommended’ label including four that are readily available on the UK market:

  • Bell Super Air R MIPS
  • Bontrager Specter WaveCel
  • Scott Vivo Plus MIPS
  • Specialized S-Works Prevail II with ANGi MIPS

Oliver Carsten, Trustee at the Road Safety Trust said:

All the recommended helmets from the current set of tests incorporate technology for protection against rotational forces, either in the form of Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) or in the form of competing technologies such as Bontrager’s WaveCel. In general, helmets with such technologies performed better than helmets without, but it is not the case that all the tested helmets with such protection are recommended.

We hope that these test results will help to inform purchasing decisions by UK consumers, and also encourage helmet manufacturers to raise their game and bring to market new helmet models that perform at least as well as the best existing models.

Cycling is an active transport means and good for your health. During the Covid-19 pandemic people are being encouraged to cycle, and indeed the indications are that more people are cycling. Many UK cities and towns are planning to promote cycling as a means of transport post-Covid. However, research shows that cyclists are over-represented in serious crashes. In 2018 the road casualty statistics for Great Britain showed that 4,205 pedal cyclists suffered a serious injury or fatality – more than 11 per day.

The Road Safety Trust is the largest independent road safety grant giver in the UK and funds vital research and practical interventions committed to reducing the number of people killed or injured on UK roads. Since it was established in 2014, the Road Safety Trust has awarded grants worth £3.7m to 49 different projects.

For a copy of the foreword written by the Road Safety Trust and the full report please visit https://www.roadsafetytrust.org.uk/reports-and-publications

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