Safety ratings low for hockey and football helmets - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Safety ratings low for hockey and football helmets

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(KHQMD)- Engineers at Virginia Tech have created hockey helmet safety ratings to help keep athletes safe on the ice. Researchers lab tested each helmet with multiple variations of impact direction and energy levels. They also analyzed helmets used on the ice. 32 helmet models were put to the test and only one scored a 'good' rating.

According to Stefan Duma, the head of Virginia Tech's Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, 'Our focus is to improve the safety of the sport, and we have spent a great deal of time developing the methods and relaying these to the manufacturers so that they can optimize their designs. Our hope is to see new helmets come into the market with improved performance.'

The price range of the helmets tested go from $27 to $270. No helmets scored four stars or more. One helmet scored three stars. Sixteen stars received only one star which is a 'marginal rating' and nine helmets got zero stars which is a 'not recommend' rating. Price had no impact on the safety ratings. Some helmets that cost less than $100 outperformed helmets that cost $300.

The Virginia Tech team has been working on the hockey helmet project for more than three years.

The findings from their project can be found in the April 2015 issue of Springer journal Annals of Biomedical Engineering.
To take an in-depth look at the hockey helmet study and another study for football helmets, click here: http://www.beam.vt.edu/helmet/
For more on the team behind this study click here: http://bit.ly/1FbH6u7
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