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Annual UK cycle helmet safety tests revealed

The annual cycle helmet safety test reveals ‘recommended’ adult and child helmets to help improve cyclist safety on the roads.

The Road Safety Trust, dedicated to achieving zero deaths and serious injuries on UK roads, has funded Folksam Insurance Group in Sweden, to complete extended safety tests on a selection of UK adult and, for the first time, child helmets. These results add to those of previous test rounds carried out on cycle helmets available for sale in the UK so that extended safety test performance results are now available for 47 adult helmets in total.

The 2021 test round included 15 adult cycling helmets and nine children’s helmets*. 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.  

Two adult and two child helmets (only one available to UK market) were given the ‘recommended’ label:

  • Adult Scott Arx Plus
  • Adult Specialized Align II
  • Child Lazer Gekko MIPS

For Great Britain in 2019, the road casualty statistics indicate that 4,433 pedal cyclists suffered a serious injury or fatality — more than 12 per day. The hospital data for England, Scotland, and Wales reveal that 17,884 pedal cyclists were admitted to hospital as the result of a transport-related accident between April 2019 and March 2020.

Oliver Carsten, Trustee of The Road Safety Trust said:

It is well documented that wearing a cycling helmet reduces the risk of injury to cyclists, but it is important that, when consumers purchase safety equipment, they spend their money wisely.  The recommended adult helmets are both general-purpose helmets and relatively low-cost with an approximate price of £80 for the Scott and £45 for the Specialized. The recommended child helmet costs around £50.  This confirms that good safety performance does not require high expense.

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.

Image credit: Road Safety Trust