The Virginia Tech–Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences released its annual ratings of adult football helmets.
After over 2,000 tests and 1.8 million measured impacts, the 2012 Helmet Ratings expanded to include 15 helmets. Five new helmet models have been released by Rawlings, Riddell and Xenith and were included in the evaluation.
Helmet safety is assessed through a series of 20 drop tests where a large metallic drop plate is raised and lowered at different speeds to represent the different impact energies seen on a football field. An accelerometer fitted to the test helmets record the head acceleration, which is measured through these scenarios and then related to the following injury that would occur.
The Rawlings Quantum Plus and Riddell 360 were both given a rating of five stars, the highest rating possible. Seven helmets received four stars, two helmets deserved three stars, and three others earned two stars, one star, and not recommended, respectively. Read more.