CRASH (Consumer Rating and Assessment of Safety Helmets) is the result of a partnership between Australian transport, insurance and safety agencies. It tests the ability to protect the wearer's head in a crash and how comfortable the helmet is to wear.
“Good gear has already been proven to reduce crash injuries,” Mark Gilbert, MSAC Chair said. “New Zealand currently has no mandated standard for motorcycle gear. CRASH offers riders a tool for helping them buy gear that has been tested and is proven to perform, which is why MSAC supports it”.
CRASH tests assess and compare motorcycle helmets in terms of their ability to protect the wearer's head in a crash and how comfortable the helmet is to wear.
The helmet's crash protection performance is assessed using the following criteria:
- They must have adequate impact performance
- They must remain on the wearer's head during the crash.
The helmet must be able to reduce the impact of a crash and manage the acceleration of the head to minimise injury. To achieve this, the helmet must:
- Cover the frontal and temporal areas of the head
- Not disintegrate during the impact and,
- Be able to minimise injury to the head from impacts with different types of objects and different heights.
In all tests, a simulated head with many characteristics of the human head is used to facilitate the measurement of various forces in the crash test. The data gathered is then assessed using recognised protocols, and scores are determined for each specific test.
A helmet's ability to mitigate the effect of a blow to the head is assessed by dropping it onto a hard surface representative of the roadway, and a 'hard metal edge' such as a kerb, roadside barrier or corner of a vehicle.