The TAC is now on board with CRASH - the Consumer Rating and Assessment of Safety Helmets - which tests new helmets and rates them for both safety and comfort.
Using a 5-star system similar to ANCAP vehicle safety testing, CRASH rates full-face, open-face and dual-purpose helmets before posting the results on its website.
The testing regime aims to simulate the types of impacts experienced in real crash scenarios, and each helmet tested is scored on its ability to reduce impact to the head, maintain structural integrity, and maintain a functioning chin strap.
While every new helmet sold in Australia or NZ must achieve the minimum safety standard (in this case, a 1-star rating), some helmets exceed this standard, and price is not always the best indicator of a helmet’s ability to protect the rider during a collision.
“Every year Victoria's road trauma statistics tell us how susceptible motorcyclists are to death and serious injury in the event of an accident," TAC CEO, Janet Dore, said.
"Riders don't have crumple zones and airbags to protect them from impact so it is vital that any safety gear they do have is of the highest possible quality.”
The TAC says in 2012, motorcyclists accounted for just one percent of the total kilometres travelled in Victoria, yet made up 15 percent of road fatalities and 15 percent of claims involving acute hospitalisation.
Ms Dore said the differences between 1- and 5-star rated helmets aren’t merely incremental, as the wearer of a 1-star helmet is two and a half times more likely to experience head and brain injuries than a rider wearing a 5-star rated helmet.
The TAC reminds all riders to ensure their helmet is fitted correctly, and to use them correctly each time they ride. Check out the CRASH website to learn more (website opens in new window).