CLEVERER HELM - Optimal protection against head injuries by improving test methods for childrens bicycle helmets.

Project: Research project

Project Details


In 2011 1900 children were treated in hospitals because of head injuries. The rate of helmet wearing is 86% for children under the age of 12 after helmet wearing has been made mandatory by public law for them. However, it was observed that 9 of 10 children don’t use their helmet in a correct way. A long term decrease of head injuries can be reached only by an improvement of helmets and their correct use or easier handling. A properly worn helmet can reduce the head injury risk up to 45%. Within the European Union bicycle helmets are tested in accordance to the EN 1078. This standard hardly changed in recent years. The shock absorption of the helmets is evaluated using the maximum deceleration of a rigid head form during the impact. Misuse of the helmet is disregarded. Furthermore impact duration as well as rotational acceleration are ignored, although several studies highlighted their relevance for injuries. The lack of changes of test standards caused few innovation of bicycle helmets within the last years. The major aim of the Project “CLEVERER HELM” is to reduce head injuries among children by improving helmet quality and usability. A usability rating will be focused on the avoidance of helmet misuse or the protective function when they are not correctly worn. New test standards will be developed that will be adjusted on real world accident scenarios, injury patterns and the special user behavior of children. The study should provide answers to the following research questions scientifically and objective:
1.) How many children wear their helmet incorrect? How do they wear it and why?
2.) What are typical accident scenarios of child cyclists?
3.) How do typical bicycle accident related head injury patterns look like?
4.) Are current test standards in accordance to accident scenarios and injury patterns?
5.) What weaknesses do current standards for bicycle helmets for children have?
6.) How could an improved test concept for bicycle helmets for children look like?
7.) How do helmets perform under the new test conditions compared to the current standard?
8.) Are there any helmets that provide sufficient protection if incorrect worn?
9.) What happens in a crash when the helmet is not correct worn?
10.) How could improved tests increase the protective function of helmets and thereby reduce the number of head injuries?
Effective start/end date1/02/1430/04/15