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09-24-2012, 10:40 AM
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Jarick's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St Paul, MN
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Originally Posted by cptjeff View Post
Certification is a minimum standard. Yes, you can get something that does the minimum, but you could get something better. You could just as easily say that since you can get a full meal for 20 cents with a packet of ramen, there's never any reason to spend 20 dollars for a steak.

A really crappy helmet meeting the same minimum standard does not come anywhere close to meaning that it's just as good as the one that the helmet maker has dumped a lot of R&D money into making the absolute best on the market.
As of now there is no testing that can show if/which helmets can prevent or reduce concussions. Right now it is just impact testing aka prevent the helmet from popping off and your head from being split open. Any of the testing done by companies regarding concussion prevention is purely exploratory or anecdotal and not proven or accepted.

Official statement of helmet testing:

The helmet's performance is evaluated by testing the chinstrap for strength and elongation and by testing the impact absorption properties of the helmet liner. All tests are performed using helmets attached to headforms that simulate different sizes of the human head. For the retention system, the helmet is placed on a headform and a load is applied using a device to simulate the chin bone structure. The strength and elongation properties of the helmet strap are evaluated. Dropping a helmet (with the headform inside) onto a flat hard surface tests the impact absorption properties. When dropped onto the flat surface, instruments in the headform measure the force transmitted through the helmet to the headform. This test is performed at ambient, hot and cold conditions. At each of these conditions the helmet must absorb a minimum amount of energy in order to meet the requirements of the standard.
Their stance on concussions:

Decreasing the Risk for Concussions

Wear a helmet certified for your sport. Make sure that the helmet fits tight so that it does not move around on your head. The helmet should be attached by a chin or neck strap.

Wear a mouthguard, preferably a mouthguard fitted by a dentist. There is no proof that the use of a mouthguard decreases the risk for concussions, but it may be useful in certain situations.
Again, the HECC is the only real authority when it comes to helmet testing. Any helmet on the market with their endorsement will protect to a minimum standard against blows to the head. None of them purport to reduce or prevent concussions as nothing has been proven as of yet.

And even the HECC will throw in the mouthguard suggestion but will note there is no proof.

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