Motorcycle helmets are still being crash tested in Australia despite European-standard helmets being available here for several years because they provide riders with “more information”.
The NSW Consumer Rating and Assessment of Safety Helmets (CRASH) crash-tests 30 helmets a year and releases the details every November.
Centre for Road Safety active executive director Craig Moran says that while all helmets sold here meet either Australian Standards or global standard UNECE 22.05, CRASH ratings “give riders more information so they can chose the best helmet for their situation”.
By “more information” they mean ratings out of five for safety and comfort. The standards just say they passed the tests, but don’t provide ratings.
For example, a helmet only has to achieve the lowest one-star CRASH rating to pass Australian and Euro helmet certification.
AS/NZ 1698 and UNECE 22.05 certification make no mention at all of comfort which is important for reducing rider fatigure which can distract your attention.
CRASH has tested 34 full-face helmets since 2017 and 1012 pre-2017, 17 open face helmets since 2017 and 35 prior and nine dual-purpose helmets since 2017 and 23 prior.
It is not as comprehensive as the similar British SHARP helmet safety scheme. It has tested and rated hundreds of helmets, almost all of which are now available for sale in Australia.
“The helmets are chosen based a number of criteria including their approximate number of sales or popularity or if the consortium identifies a particular helmet as requiring further performance testing,” Craig says.
“Helmets are proven to reduce the severity of head injuries as well as the likelihood of death and disability.
“We also recently launched MotoCAP which is a consumer information program designed to provide riders with scientifically-based information about the protection and comfort of a range of motorcycle jackets, pants and gloves available in Australia and New Zealand.”
CRASH is run by a consortium of NSW government agencies and Swann Insurance.
It assesses and compares motorcycle helmets in terms of their ability to protect the wearer’s head in a crash and how comfortable the helmet is to wear.
Click here for more information about CRASH testing procedures.
Last year we assessed helmet ratings from CRASH and SHARP to assess whether price correlates with safety.
We found some surprising results! Click here for the full story.