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The protective performance of modern motorcycle helmets under oblique impacts

  • Yu, X
  • Logan, I
  • Sarasola, IDP
  • Dasaratha, A
  • Ghajari, M
Publication Date
Apr 04, 2022
UPCommons. Portal del coneixement obert de la UPC
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Motorcyclists are at high risk of head injuries, including skull fractures, focal brain injuries, intracranial bleeding and diffuse brain injuries. New helmet technologies have been developed to mitigate head injuries in motorcycle collisions, but there is limited information on their performance under commonly occurring oblique impacts. We used an oblique impact method to assess the performance of seven modern motorcycle helmets at five impact locations. Four helmets were fitted with rotational management technologies: a low friction layer (MIPS), three-layer liner system (Flex) and dampers-connected liner system (ODS). Helmets were dropped onto a 45° anvil at 8 m/s at five locations. We determined peak translational and rotational accelerations (PTA and PRA), peak rotational velocity (PRV) and brain injury criteria (BrIC). In addition, we used a human head finite element model to predict strain distribution across the brain and in corpus callosum and sulci. We found that the impact location affected the injury metrics and brain strain, but this effect was not consistent. The rear impact produced lowest PTAs but highest PRAs. This impact produced highest strain in corpus callosum. The front impact produced the highest PRV and BrIC. The side impact produced the lowest PRV, BrIC and strain across the brain, sulci and corpus callosum. Among helmet technologies, MIPS reduced all injury metrics and brain strain compared with conventional helmets. Flex however was effective in reducing PRA only and ODS was not effective in reducing any injury metrics in comparison with conventional helmets. This study shows the importance of using different impact locations and injury metrics when assessing head protection effects of helmets. It also provides new data on the performance of modern motorcycle helmets. These results can help with improving helmet design and standard and rating test methods.

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