Unique helmet protects your head – and hairstyle

Standard bicycle helmets are now being challenged by a new innovative head protector with an airbag which releases during accidents. Following extensive safety tests and new methods for trials, the product has now been certified and is ready for the market.

The new head protector is based on a thesis within industrial design. It contains sensors in a collar which release an airbag after identifying the cyclist's movements as an accident. However, prior to the market launch the protector must be CE labelled and fulfil the European directive on personal protective equipment. As this is a completely new type of product, there was no standard in place for what is required for fulfilling the requirements. Instead entirely new methods for trials and testing need to be prepared in order to certify the product directly against the directive.

The manufacturer therefore contacted SP. A risk analysis was performed in collaboration. SP used the results to prepare a requirement specification and necessary methods for trials for fulfilling the directive. The work involved a real challenge due to safety requirements and the innovative design principle.

In order to verify the methods the protector's shock absorbing capacity and its functioning in cold, hot and rainy environments has been tested. In order to ensure that the airbag is activated in the correct manner, several collision tests have also been performed, both with crash test dummies and stuntmen.

The work was rewarding. The product is now on the market and constitutes an alternative protector for vulnerable cyclists.

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Klas-Gustaf Andersson

Phone: +46 10 516 52 43

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Phone 010-516 50 00, E-mail info@ri.se

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