Helmets Go Up Against Cars In New Volvo Crash Tests

Volvo to test helmets in crash tests 6 photos
Photo: Volvo
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As safety technologies fitted on board cars continue to evolve, the focus slowly begins to shift from protecting the car’s occupants from injury in case of a crash to safeguarding the lives of pedestrians and cyclists.
Currently, most safety organizations crash testing cars for safety purposes have some kind of procedure in place to rate a vehicle’s ability to protect those it hits. Nearly none of them however issue recommendations to pedestrians, cyclists or apparel manufacturers on how to improve the odds.

What’s more, in case of bike helmets, the only testing procedure currently in place calls for the products to be dropped from various heights onto on either right or angled surfaces. That mostly simulates the helmet’s impact in case of a fall, and does not give any data on vehicle-to-bike accidents.

Swedish carmaker Volvo, together with Swedish sports brand POC, are planning to change that. This week, the two announced the start of a program meant to “understand types of long-term injuries sustained by cyclists and develop protection principles for road traffic safety benefits.”

The first stage of this program is testing how helmets perform during crashes with vehicles. That means fitting the helmets on the head of test dummies, placing the dummies on a test rig and smashing them at various speeds against different areas of the hood of a static Volvo car.

According to Volvo, despite being based on existing regulatory test procedures for pedestrian head protection, this kind of approach, taking place at the Volvo safety center in Gothenburg, Sweden, is a world premiere.

“Our aim is not only to meet legal requirements or pass rating tests. Instead we go beyond ratings, using real traffic situations to develop technology that further improves safety,” said in a statement Malin Ekholm, head of the Volvo Cars Safety Centre.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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