Study Finds Football Helmets Do Little to Reduce Concussions
Most Popular Does not Mean More Protection
Researchers from Florida State University say helmets offering the least amount of protection were among the most popular on the football field.
The researchers analyzed the strength and safety of 10 popular football helmet designs. The study will be presented at American Academy of Neurology’s 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.
Helmets included in the study were:
- Adams a2000
- Rawlings Quantum
- Riddell 360
- Riddell Revolution Speed
- Riddell VSR4
- Schutt Air Advantage
- Schutt DNA Pro+
- Xenith XI
- Xenith X2
Researchers Conclude Some Helmets Do Little to Reduce Brain Injuries
During the study, researchers experimented with crash test dummies and set up a standard drop test.
Motion sensors were placed on the heads of the dummies and were subjected to repeated 12-mile-per hour impacts as the sensors measured the heads’ linear and rotational responses. Some of the dummies wore helmets in the test and some did not.
The researchers found that some helmets were safer than others and prevented concussions opposed to other helmets. They found that overall, wearing a football helmet only reduced mild traumatic brain injury by 20 percent compared to wearing no helmet.
Researchers also found that the Adams a2000 offered the best protection of concussion, yet the worst protection against closed head injury. The Schutt Air Advantage offered the worst protection overall.
The researchers did find, however, that the helmets did protect against linear impacts, reducing the risk of skull fracture by 60 to 70 percent.
Rotational Forces Cause More Damage than Linear Forces According
According to Dr. Frank Condi of the Florida Center for Headache and Sports Neurology and the Florida State University College of Medicine, rotational forces are the cause of brain damage including concussions, brain injury complications and brain bleeds as opposed to linear forces.
Researchers hope players will understand how little helmets provide protection against traumatic brain injury.