How the next generation of motocross helmets should be developed?
I am not seeing any progress in helmet design. Back in the early 70s I purchased the best helmet I could afford, what I purchased was a plastic pot lined with foam. About six months ago I bought I brand new helmet and you know what I purchased, a plastic pot lined with foam.
Too many serious head injuries occur in motocross. This abstract shows the extent of head injuries in motocross:
Patterns of injury and outcomes associated with motocross accidents.
Department of Surgery, Inland Valley Regional Medical Center, Wildomar, California, USA.
Motocross has become a popular recreation activity in Southern California, particularly in the Inland Empire area. In order to evaluate the patterns of injury and outcomes associated with motocross accidents, the Trauma Registry data and charts of all patients with motocross-related injuries from January 2000 to December 2001 were reviewed. Of the 270 patients studied, 265 were males and 5 were females, with a mean age of 26 years (range, 5-61). The mean Injury Severity Score was 6.8 (range, 1-38). Injuries involved extremity trauma in 52 per cent of patients closed head injuries in 33 per cent, blunt chest trauma in 23 per cent, abdominal trauma in 15 per cent, spinal trauma in 14 per cent, and pelvic trauma in 8 per cent. Surgery was required in 96 patients (36%), most commonly for treatment of orthopedic injuries. After initial evaluation, 179 patients were admitted (66%), 60 were discharged home (22%), 29 were transferred for higher level of care (11%), and two expired (1%). The mean hospital length of stay was 2.3 days (range, 1-9). Motocross accidents are most commonly associated with extremity injuries and closed head trauma. Although the overall mortality is low, the morbidity is high, with a large proportion of patients requiring surgery
We in Colorado have had two since the motocross 2011 season has started. The main contributing factor is that the helmets are too stiff. In order to pass the present helmet tests, manufacturers are using materials that don’t allow the head to move far enough in the helmet, to attenuate the force of an average motocross crash without subjecting the brain to deceleration forces that cause brain injury.
For present helmet standard see http://www.smf.org/standards/m/2010/m2010_final_booklet.pdf.
I do not believe that data exists to show what actual forces are occurring during the motocross crash. The technology to develop equipment to record the actual impacts occurring during a motocross crash exists that would allow us to use a small lightweight device similar to a helmet cam. Sooner or later we are all going to crash, should we try to learn as much as possible from out mistakes
An example of helmet technology that uses a different mechanism to attenuate impacts see this link http://www.xenith.com/
One of the facts of off road, motocross riding is that sooner or later we are all going to crash. It makes sense to me to learn from these crashes so that in the future they don’t become life changing events. Head injuries are a serious matter.
Article first published as <a href=’http://technorati.com/sports/article/how-can-we-develop-the-next/’>How Can We Develop the Next Generation of Motocross Off-Road Helmets?</a> on Technorati.
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