Are Helmet Cameras Safe to Use?
Modified On Jan 28, 2016 By Rommel Albuquerque
After the famous Michael Schumacher crash in 2014 where reports said that the camera mounted on his helmet contributed to his head injury, there have been many reports to debunk this claim. Some reports said that the camera had a hammer like effect when Schumacher's head struck the rock but the French technology research laboratory Critt said, "At the wrong angle, (the camera) could lead to a shock effect, cracking the helmet."
Now, years later, new research by the Transport Research Laboratory and the BBC has revealed that helmet-mounted cameras my not be as dangerous to the wearer as previously feared. The research has been trying to find out the potential effects that mounting a camera on a helmet might have on the performance of a helmet in the event of an accident. In this regard, impact testing was carried out on a range of helmets like hard shell, hybrid and EPS foam type helmets. Testing was carried out in accordance with several testing protocols, including EU Regulation 22.05 which is one of the most used safety standard for motorcycle helmets. They tested the helmets with cameras mounted at the front, side and top by putting them through standardised impact testing and energy transference to the head was measured too.
After thorough testing, the results showed that cameras could be mounted in all three locations without increased risk of head injury. But, the BBC results did note that the camera and its mount did cause a slight increase in the transference of force to the head when the impact was applied at an angle, such as in a glancing blow or fall against a surface. The report also mentioned that further testing would need to be carried out specifically on motorcycle helmets to get a comprehensive answer to whether they are likely to increase risk of head injury in an accident. But for now, this research tentatively suggests that having a camera on your helmet may not compromise it beyond current performance requirements.
Following the completion of testing, Richard Cuerden, Chief Research Scientist at TRL, said: 'Concerns have been raised about the safety implications of fixing cameras to helmets, so it’s encouraging that the configurations tested still meet the required safety standards. But while the results are promising, it’s important we don’t assume the outcome will be the same for all helmet and camera configurations. Other variables not tested could result in different injury outcomes, so further research and testing is required before we can confidently say that all helmets, scenarios and designs will achieve the same result.'