Seven helmets are now rated with 4 stars in the 2012 Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings: Schutt ION 4D, Schutt DNA Pro+, Rawlings Impulse, Xenith X1, Riddell Revolution, Rawlings Quantum, and Riddell Revolution IQ. The remaining five football helmet models were rated with 3 stars or less. The complete ratings are publicly available online www.SBES.vt.edu/nid so that consumers can make educated decisions when purchasing football helmets.
"The three lowest rated helmets from last year are now all off the market. It is encouraging to see this positive shift towards better head protection," said Steven Rowson, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Virginia Tech. Rowson was responsible for the development of the STAR Evaluation System and testing of the helmets. "Four of the five new helmet models introduced in the last year earned a 4 or 5 star rating. This helps demonstrate that a data-driven approach can be utilized to optimize helmet design to reduce concussion risk," he said.
In the future, the researchers will expand the Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings to include other sports as well as youth football helmets. To this end, Duma and his team collected the first dataset on head impacts experienced by youth football players last year. In the fall of 2012, researchers at Virginia Tech and Wake Forest will expand this dataset by instrumenting over 300 youth football players from ages 6 to 18 in what is called the KIDS study (Kinematics of Impact Data Set). "As we learn more about youth head impact exposure, we can begin to develop methods to evaluate youth-s
|Contact: Lynn Nystrom|