German Studies Claim Motorcycle Helmets Could Be Significantly Safer

A study carried out by the German Hohenstein Insitiute in Bönnigheim shows that the actual motorcycle helmets could indeed be a lot safer if some other measurements would be taken into account. The bottom line of the study is that inner shell size alone is not enough for providing the best protection-to-fit ratio, and the head shape is just as critical.
Motorcycle Helmets Could Be Significantly Better 4 photos
Motorcycle helmets could be significantly saferMotorcycle helmets could be significantly saferMotorcycle helmets could be significantly safer
So far, the only helmet manufacturer offering head shape-designed items is Arai, after concluding their own research in this field and coming up with their American Helmet.

The Hohenstein Institute study narrowed the head shapes to 6 major categories, with an amazing width variance of 3.5 cm (1.37”), making it pretty clear that one helmet size cannot possibly offer the best fit for all these head shapes, even provided the circumference is the same. In fact, this variance was summed up from measurements on one of the most common circumferences, which is 58 cm (22.83”).

With the way the inner impact layer fits on the rider's head being one of the critical elements in shock absorption and G-dispersion, it's only common sense to figure out that the same shape will create different pressure points on a motorcyclist's skull, leading to various outcomes in similar crash conditions.

Spaces between the skull and the protective layer/ liner result in less optimal protection in case of an impact, and such anthropometric head data could improve helmet design and manufacturing significantly, should the leading brands take notice of the study's finding.

For more detailed data on the Hohenstein Institute research on head measurements and helmet design, please read the attached document below (PFD).

 Download: Motorcycle Helmets Could Be Significantly Better (PDF)


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories