How much protection will your helmet provide in a motorcycle accident?
Motorcycle Helmet Safety Performance
A motorcycle helmet is considered to be the most important piece of safety equipment or clothing worn by motorcyclists and passengers. Helmet prices vary considerably depending on make and model but all motorcycle helmets sold in the UK conform to minimum safety standards.
Many motorcyclists may be surprised to learn that the most expensive helmets do not necessarily provide the highest level of protection in the event of a motorcycle accident.
Research carried out by the Department of Transport found that, despite all helmets complying with minimum safety standards, there was a real difference in the safety performance of motorcycle helmets available in the UK. This led to the introduction of SHARP – the Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme.
SHARP subjects helmets to rigorous testing to assess the level of protection that different helmets provide to riders in the event of different motorcycle accident impacts. The results are shown as a star rating with 5 star helmets assessed as providing a higher degree of protection.
How safe is your helmet?
SHARP are constantly testing new makes and models and full details of the testing and rating results can be found on the SHARP website. SHARP hopes that the information available about the safety performance of helmets will help riders make an informed choice when choosing a new helmet.
The results show that some of the cheaper helmets on the market provide 5 star protection and rate higher than some of the more expensive models. Of course, there are many factors which affect the price of a helmet and many of the more expensive models may include features, which enhance comfort and ease of use, that are not available on the lower end models.
Make sure it fits!
Obviously safety performance of a helmet will be a factor that most riders will want to consider but SHARP also advise that it is absolutely vital that any helmet fits correctly. SHARP warns that a European study showed that in 12% of motorcycle accidents the rider’s helmet came off on impact. The best 5 star helmet can’t protect your head if does not stay in place during an accident!
Motorcyclists are vulnerable to serious injury in the event of a motorbike accident and the use of proper protective clothing and a properly fitting helmet is essential to increase rider protection. Helmets should be replaced if they are damaged in any way or if they have been involved in an accident or impact.
When you come to replace your helmet don’t forget to check your preferred helmet’s SHARP rating to make sure that you know how well your helmet will perform in the event of a crash.
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