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Author Topic: Why a Full Face Helmet  (Read 1012 times)
Spyderist
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« Reply #30 on: October 08, 2018, 05:56:54 PM »

Lots of anecdotal comments and opinions (we all know about those, everyone has one, etc).  Being an engineer by training and inclination, I spent the past two hours trying to find some factual (scientific) commentary on the issue of modular vs. full face.  Tons of info and (typically) long reports on helmet testing, crash & injury studies, etc., but almost nothing that directly addresses the issue, except for the following ...  

From Motorcycle Cruiser website, 2-24-2009 edition, wherein they were evaluating 7 modular helmets:
"To determine how strong the chinbars are, we also performed a chinbar-deflection test, similar to a Snell test for shell rigidity. We wondered whether the chinbars had the integrity to pass this test without being an integral part of the helmet shell. It turns out that they do. None approached the allowed 60mm deflection."  Full disclosure - the negative they pointed out was if the flip up release were of a design that one's head thrown down could hit the chest and operate the release ... well, it's no longer full coverage.  {This testing was done at the Head Protection Research Laboratory presided over by Harry Hurt (of the famous Hurt Report) which was spun off from USC as an independent non-profit corporation with Hurt as its president when he retired from USC in 1998.  It apparently ceased operations sometime after his death in 2009.}

Not saying this proves anything regards any specific helmet or will end the debate, but it provides some factual data assembled in accordance with a recognized testing procedure, by folks who were in the business of testing helmets.

Having thus praised the "scientific approach", I'll throw in my anecdotal comment ... I've yet to find a full face helmet with which I can wear my glasses, much less get it on and off with them on.  The latter's a challenge even with my modular.  Not saying there's not one out there, but I haven't found it yet.

An aside - during my quest I came upon a study posted on the MSF site which concludes that full face helmets with a DOT & ECE rating provide better protection than those with BSI & Snell ratings, to wit, "However, helmets qualified to DOT and DOT+ECE provide better protection as measured in these laboratory tests than helmets qualified to BSI and Snell" (https://msf-usa.org/downloads/imsc2006/Thom-Comparison_Tests_of_Motorcycle_Helmets-Paper.pdf).
That should stir up some .
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« Reply #31 on: October 08, 2018, 06:36:51 PM »

I agree with the helmet vs glasses problem. I found that Nolan S series (modular), even with the built in sun visor, work for me and, so far, that's it! I've found some half-pots with a clear visor that work but those are only good for keeping johnny law off my tail while running to the bakery.
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« Reply #32 on: October 08, 2018, 08:09:03 PM »

Iím going to try this suggestion. Thx
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« Reply #33 on: October 09, 2018, 12:20:01 AM »

I agree with the helmet vs glasses problem. I found that Nolan S series (modular), even with the built in sun visor, work for me and, so far, that's it! I've found some half-pots with a clear visor that work but those are only good for keeping johnny law off my tail while running to the bakery.


I too wear a Nolan Modular and have no problem taking it on and off my head with my glasses on.  I am also pleased with the weight of the helmet.  I have only bought  two helmets in my 9 years of riding. I am due for another one next season.  It will be another Nolan modular. 
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« Reply #34 on: October 09, 2018, 02:48:34 PM »


Thanks Maggie!  I guess I used too much water and as a result didn't get the haze.

Mike
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« Reply #35 on: October 15, 2018, 09:29:04 PM »

Concerning the effectiveness of helmets I feel it is important to point out the study resulting in the graphic posted is based on 226 motorbike accidents that resulted in head trauma severe enough to cause brain lesions though the rider was wearing a full face helmet. We are looking at a graphic generated from researching accidents in which a full face helmet failed to protect the rider from head injury in an effort to study possibilities of designing a more effective full face helmet.
   While it's pretty obvious at a glance what helmets are going to provide the most jaw and chin protection I don't believe a graphic based on 226 motorbike accidents which resulted in severe head injury to a rider wearing a full face helmet is indicative of impact area percentages in all motorbike accidents. Also, to get a true feeling for my odds for or against injury I would need the percentage of accidents in which there is no impact to helmet, head or face.
   Great to see ongoing research into improving helmet effectiveness but material out of context means nothing.
 
I'm too old and lazy to read complete but an article on the research is available at the following link. Check it out if interested, I may have missed the point.
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/fae3/61272e8b51fccfb278cf31900f665fef25ac.pdf 
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« Reply #36 on: October 15, 2018, 11:36:50 PM »

Just had a buddy that went through a get off tank slapper at 70 mph after hitting a rock on the highway, he landed chin first and his helmet took a pretty good bashing from the looks of it . My buddy came though better than what Id expect with no head or neck trama just broken collar bone and eight ribs. His Helmet did the job and his crash stats are reflective of the graphs within the thread.
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« Reply #37 on: October 16, 2018, 02:25:25 AM »

"...  I don't believe a graphic based on 226 motorbike accidents which resulted in severe head injury to a rider wearing a full face helmet is indicative of impact area percentages in all motorbike accidents."
 
Of course one is free to believe whatever one likes, but what's the basis for that belief?  This graphic comes from a well documented, scientifically conducted study.  My personal, anecdotal experience (not scientific and not "proof" - consisting of my accident and my wife's separate accident) resulted in scraped faceplates and chin bars in both cases.  Just coincidence that it's consistent with the graphic, and similar to other's experiences?  I'd also love to see a study with a bigger sample size and wider geographic coverage, but it doesn't seem to exist.  And the fact that this study has apparently gone unchallenged by the scientific community for nearly 20 years suggests it's not far off base.  Scientists love nothing more than to refute other scientists' findings (it's one way to build their "cred").  So the choice is to accept an unchallenged, documented study's findings that have stood for almost 20 years, or what ... go with one's intuition / anecdotal experience?  I'm inclined to go with what can be "proven" as opposed to what's "felt".

I've yet to find a study of helmet impact area percentages "in all motorbike accidents" (nothing beyond a sample is even doable), but there are these somewhat related findings from the oft quoted Hurt Report:

* Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218 provides a high level of protection in traffic accidents, and needs modification only to increase coverage at the back of the head and demonstrate impact protection of the front of full facial coverage helmets
* The increased coverage of the full facial coverage helmet increases protection, and significantly reduces face injuries

It's hard to imagine why they would publish these conclusions if their data did not support that many impacts in their study occurred in the face area.  If there were few such impacts they would say so, and point out that improvements in these areas have no significant benefit.

There is a figure in the Hurt Report which, at first glance seems similar to the Otte graphic, but it is not.  It is not comparable because the Hurt Report was not restricted to those with full face helmets and, as the text explains, "Before further consideration of these data on helmet impacts, it is important to note that these data represent only those impact sites on the helmet and do not include those impacts to the uncovered or unprotected areas of the head and neck ... many impacts occurred to the chin, jaw, teeth, cheek, mouth, etc. of those motorcycle riders who were wearing a partial (i.e., half) or full (i.e., 3/4) coverage helmet, or were not wearing any helmet at all."

"Also, to get a true feeling for my odds for or against injury I would need the percentage of accidents in which there is no impact to helmet, head or face."

Given Otte's study was to assess helmet efficiency, accidents with no helmet/face/head impact were outside the scope of the study.  The point of the study was not to determine the likelihood of injury in a motorcycle accident.  You're asking for something that was not part of this study.

However, the Hurt Report, does address this to a degree.  Just for reference, The Hurt Report "presents the data and findings from the on-scene, in-depth investigations of 900 motorcycle accidents and the analysis.of 3600 traffic accident reports of motorcycle accidents in the same study area (Los Angeles '75-'80)".  I doubt anyone wants to read all 435 pages of the Hurt Study but I've attached a table contained therein.  Its use is not immediately clear but if one keeps plugging away, it does yield some answers.  Table 8.1.2 shows that 46.7% of the riders in the studied accidents suffered a moderate to fatal injury (in the table that's 21.9+11.7+5.7+4.1+3.3 for the included categories) ... throw in minor injuries and the percentage jumps to 97.5%.  So the Hurt Report indicates that if you're in an accident, 97.5% of the time you'll sustain some injury, and 46.7% of the time you'll sustain a moderate to fatal injury.

The Hurt Report also points out that injuries to "the head, neck and face, comprise a total of 28.5% of the total of most severe injuries."  Maybe that's the piece you're looking for.
 
The point of the Otte study was not to predict the likelihood of helmet impacts or helmet impact areas for all accidents, it was to assess if helmet design could be improved to prevent or mitigate head injuries ... and their conclusion was that it could (and helmets have improved since this study).  The graphic only served in their study to identify the areas of a helmet where the impacts occurred and therefore, presumably where the biggest bang for the improvement buck could be found.  The graphic is useful to others because it provides some insight, on a scientific basis, as to where helmet impacts in an accident are most likely to occur.  That just might be a good thing to know.


The Hurt Report can be found in its entirety at https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d5/MOTORCYCLE_ACCIDENT_CAUSE_FACTORS_AND_IDENTIFICATION_OF_COUNTERMEASURES_VOLUME_I-_TECHNICAL_REPORT.pdf

PS - I have found a section in the Hurt report that categorizes head injuries by location, but in medical(?) terms.  As such, it'll take some decoding - standby ...
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« Reply #38 on: October 16, 2018, 02:50:24 PM »

B Not disagreeing, but don't forget, that "science" also said the world is flat for hundreds of unchallenged years!  
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« Reply #39 on: October 16, 2018, 04:45:04 PM »

B Not disagreeing, but don't forget, that "science" also said the world is flat for hundreds of unchallenged years!  
There is much debate among science historians of when science (the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment) came into existence.  A strong case is made for the middle ages with regards to the true "scientific method", but certain individuals and cultures displayed similar processes much earlier.  However, these earlier folks were thought of as philosophers, not scientists.  Philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC) is oft cited as one of the first to practice a "scientific" approach, but "Pythagoras in the 6th century BC and Parmenides in the 5th century BC stated that the Earth is spherical, and this view spread rapidly in the Greek world.  Around 330 BC, Aristotle maintained on the basis of physical theory and observational evidence that the Earth was spherical, and reported on an estimate on the circumference."

So I'd suggest that the notion that the earth was flat was not promulgated by scientists, but rather by rulers/religious who relied solely on what they (or their advisors or their gods) "felt" to be the truth.  The earliest "scientists" were, in fact, the first to say the earth was not flat.  The notion of a flat earth hung around for centuries because the powers that be, having proclaimed the earth is flat, could not accept any other view as such would undermine their claim to be all knowing.

Just FYI - The flat earth society still exists (https://theflatearthsociety.org/home/).  Some members are serious, some are not.
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Spyderist
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« Reply #40 on: October 16, 2018, 09:31:40 PM »

So here's a take on somewhat similar data from the Hurt Report.  It's not directly comparable to the Otte study because it localizes head INJURIES rather than head IMPACTS.  It's not much of a stretch to suspect that injuries to a given area are the result of impacts to that area, except for the Hurt category of brain injuries.  It's noteworthy that the text in the Hurt Report addresses this issue with the example of a jaw impact that results in a brain injury.  In their case that would only be counted as a brain injury.  This explanatory text is included below the table in the provided attachment.

Aligning the Hurt locations with the Otte partitions (insofar as possible) suggests the 45% impact area in the Otte study is a 36% impact area in the Hurt report.  But what cannot be determined from the Hurt data is what portion of the 19% brain injuries is attributable to impacts in the face plate/chin bar areas.  As pointed out in the Hurt report, some portion of that 19% is attributable thereto.  Is it 10%, less, more?  No way to know.  But regardless, the Hurt report certainly shows that impacts in the face plate / chin bar area are something more than 36% of all helmet impacts, which is not so terribly different from the Otte study findings. Both show that the face plate / chin bar areas are quite vulnerable, and ought not be ignored if one is interested in the best protection.


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