I have been jealous of our British readers for sometime now, as the government in the UK has seen it fit not only to have one of the best helmet safety rating systems known to man, but they have made their test results incredibly accessible to the two-wheeled going public. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s worth taking a look at Britain’s SHARP website before buying your next lid.
SHARP takes impact analysis from five regions of the helmet, and then based on analysis from which points on the helmet are statistically more likely to be hit during a crash, assigns a weighted score to the helmet’s safety score.
Basing laboratory analysis with real world probabilities, SHARP is perhaps the most pragmatic rating system available for motorcyclists, but more importantly it is the most transparent and accessible.
Well know it looks like we can be jealous of Australia as well, as our riding brothers and sisters down under have their own public database of helmet crash statistics, appropriately called CRASH, which like its British counterpart, does away with some of the guess work in helmet safety, and makes that data available to consumers.
An effort put together by a consortium of government agencies, the CRASH program is funded by Transport for New South Wales, NRMA Motoring & Services, and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC).
Like the SHARP website, CRASH rates helmets on a scale of one to five stars, but consumers can drill down further to see a bevy of numerical scores on various impact and safety tests — a “CRASH rating” if you will, which takes into account more than just impact scores.
While CRASH doesn’t breakout results for impact analysis on different hemispheres of the helmet, like SHARP does with its results, the data given is far more detailed than anything else publicly available, and between the two sites, a very comprehensive picture of a helmet’s ability to protect your noggin can be ascertained.
Right now, it looks like CRASH has only a limited number of helmets and manufacturers available on its listings, though we imagine that will change as the group tests more helmets that are in the Australian market. If you’re looking to buy a helmet, we recommend taking into account the ratings on CRASH and SHARP first.