Forensic Engineering Analysis of DOT verses Non-DOT Helmet Performance as a Function of Velocities Exceeding Standardized Testing

Article Author(s): Laura Liptai, Ph.D. (NAFE 338C)

Volume: 29
Volume #: 2
Month: December
Year: 2012

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Motorcyclists suffer serious trauma more often than automotive occupants tracing to contact with non-yielding road surfaces and/or direct impact from other vehicles. A motorcycle helmet is the principal defense to head impact. If a motorcycle helmet passes DOT, Department of Transportation, approval, what performance improvements correlate? DOT and non-DOT helmets were tested to determine impact performance at velocities exceeding standardized testing velocities. Three types of DOT approved and three types of Non-DOT approved helmets were tested at two speeds outside of the federal testing standards in the United States. The analysis was performed using an inverted pendulum sub-system experimental device with a Hybrid-III anthropometric dummy cranium and neck. Results quantify the performance by category, model, and experiment by test metric.


Motorcycle, helmet, head trauma, brain injury, testing, engineering