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Hövding 3 - Airbag for urban cyclists

Hövding best in test – again

Hövding Magazine / Safety

Länsförsäkringar’s (one of Sweden’s largest insurance comapany) latest bicycle helmet tests included twelve traditional helmets and Hövding. For the first time, a special test was carried out at higher speed to simulate accidents involving electric bicycles. The result? Hövding got 5 out of 5 stars.

To carry out the tests, Länsförsäkringar paired up with the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH). With these tests, Länsförsäkringar wanted to draw attention to the importance of more cyclists wearing helmets, as well as influencing manufacturers to further improve the quality of their helmets. An important feature of a helmet is how it handles so-called rotational violence against the head. When conducting tests, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm also took this into account.

Bicycle accidents and rotational violence
A bicycle helmet always reduces the risk of brain damage in an accident, but there are certainly differences between bicycle helmets. When the head hits the ground in a bicycle accident, it often happens at an oblique angle to the ground, thus giving rise to rotational violence. In other words, the brain’s position is disturbed inside the skull. In order to reduce the consequences of rotational violence, it is therefore important that the bicycle helmet not only handles straight line impacts, but also oblique ones. In this respect, Hövding provides extra protection.

‘Concussion in a bicycle accident is often linked to rotational violence from oblique impacts.’

Certification applies only to straight line impacts
All helmets in Länsförsäkringar’s tests are CE marked, which means that they meet today’s certification requirements and can be sold on the Swedish market. However, the certification only requires that the helmet can withstand straight line impacts in order to be approved. In the certification tests, the helmet is therefore only struck against a flat surface to measure energy absorption, despite the fact that research shows that concussion in a bicycle accident is often linked to rotational violence from oblique impacts. In the tests conducted by the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, the helmets were also struck at an angle against a hard surface in order to better represent real accidents.

How the test was carried out
Tests on traditional bicycle helmets were carried out at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, while testing of Hövding’s protection – which is airbag-based and therefore requires a special testing procedure – was done by the RISE (Research Institute of Sweden). In total, at least twelve tests were carried out per helmet model. Each helmet, including Hövding, was tested for three different points of impact – twice per point of impact and at two different speeds so as to cover electric bicycles.

‘Hövding provides the very best protection against concussion.’

Five stars – even for e-bikes
The increased use of electric bicycles in Sweden has led the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm to test the head protection at two different speeds for the first time. E-bikes often travel faster, making it even more important to choose a helmet that can handle rotational violence. Some other traditional bicycle helmets are equipped with MIPS or similar rotational protection, but Hövding stands out when it comes to softening the impact of rotational violence. In the test carried out by the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Hövding received 5 out of 5 stars, with results stating that this airbag for cyclists provides the very best protection against concussion.

READ MORE: Länsförsäkringars test (Swedish article)

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