The proportion of cyclists in the UK using the traditional cycle helmet has risen over the past few years. At the same time, tests show that, in an accident, serious – even fatal – head injuries can still occur with approved cycle helmets that have passed the legal requirements. The Hövding airbag cycle helmet is an exception to this. It has achieved astonishing results in tests, which have shown that it provides an extremely high level of protection.
"Hövding is the biggest thing since the emergence of the cycle helmet and, as a milestone, is equivalent to when the airbag was developed for cars", says Maria Krafft, PhD, Associate Professor, Head of Division Traffic Safety & Environment at the Swedish insurance company Folksam.
There are considerable differences in performance from one cycle helmet to another. Folksam's tests on cycle helmets in 2012 showed that the airbag had over three times as much shock-absorbing capacity as the best traditional cycle helmet. They conducted a crash test in which all the traditional helmets were around 250 g, whereas the Hövding airbag cycle helmet only recorded 65 g.
The harmful effects of Folksam's impact test have now been analysed. They show that, with a traditional cycle helmet in this type of accident, the likelihood of serious head injury is approximately 90% and the risk of a fatal injury is as high as 30%. The use of an airbag cycle helmet in the same accident dramatically reduces the risk of injury. The risk of serious head injury is then only 2% and the risk of a fatal injury almost non-existent.
The permitted maximum value for cycle helmets is alarmingly high, which means that a rider can still suffer serious head injuries in an accident wearing a helmet that meets the current legal requirement of 250 g.
"'Best practice' is often chosen as the norm in consumer tests that drive development forward. This means that there is now no reason to maintain the 250 g limit for an approved helmet", says Maria Krafft.
Even Stig Håkansson, former Director of Product Safety at the Swedish Consumer Agency, is impressed by the results and the protection provided by the Hövding:
"I have spent much of my professional life working on product safety at national and international level and I have never seen a cycle helmet that provided anything like the level of protection that the Hövding provides. Naturally I hope it will be used by a lot of people in the future.
See Hövding´s new short film "Cycle helmet safety - What the
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-In order to obtain a CE mark, a cycle helmet is required to reduce the acceleration force to 250 g in a blow to the head. G is a measurement of acceleration and the lower the g value, the more the impact and acceleration are reduced.
-Since it was launched in Sweden, the Hövding has caught on quickly. The helmet is already available in over 300 stores in 13 European countries and via www.hovding.com. There is considerable demand in other parts of the world, which means that the Hövding will continue to spread to more countries.
Hövding is a revolutionary cycle helmet designed as a collar that you wear around your neck. The collar contains an airbag that will inflate and protect th ehead in the event of an accident.
Hövding contains sensors that are constantly monitoring the cyclist’s movements when it is switched on. The sensors detect any changes in velocity or angle of the cyclist and can distinguish between normal cycling and accidents.
In an accident, Hövding detects the abnormal movement pattern and triggers the airbag to inflate. The inflation takes a tenth of a second (0.1 seconds) and the airbag is fully inflated before head impact
Behind the product lie seven years of development, in partnership with experts on cycling head injuries, airbag technology, mathematics and crash tests.