Project: Motorcycle Helmets: Consumer Safety Information - Helmet Supply

Reference: S0709/V8

Last update: 06/01/2009 09:53:49


Motorcyclists represent one of the most vulnerable road user groups in the UK with more than 500 riders losing their lives annually on our roads. Of these, 80% receive strikes to the head and in 70% of these the head injury is the most serious. The UK Department for Transport's Motorcycling Strategy published in 2005 listed a series of action points to deliver improvements in motorcycling safety, particularly in the area of helmet safety standards.

Helmets on sale in the UK satisfy European legislation and are proven to offer good protection to motorcyclists. However, there is substantive evidence available that some helmets offer protection significantly greater than the minimum required by regulation. The Department for Transport considers that, by raising the current levels of performance, casualty figures could be reduced and that the most efficient way to deliver these benefits is through the dissemination of objective consumer safety information on the comparative performance of available helmets.


The project will deliver motorcycle helmets to be impact tested to a series of precise and accurate impact tests. Tests will be performed on a twin wire guided impact test apparatus (see S0707/V8 and S0708/V8). The data generated will be used to generate a single helmet performance score suitable for dissemination to consumers to assist in their purchase decisions.


No contractors specified.

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £85,000.00

Actual start date: 01 October 2007

Actual completion date: 30 June 2008

Summary of results

  1. The project involved the purchase of 718 motorcycle helmets from a number of outlets throughout the UK for SHARP testing and assessment. Data generated from the testing of the helmets was simplified into the SHARP rating, suitable for dissemination to consumers to assist in their purchase decisions.