There is no arguing that the number of cars hitting bikes is on the rise and it’s not going to get better anytime soon until major infrastructure changes happen here in the U.S. and around the world. So in the meantime, POC teamed up with Volvo to see if they could make a helmet to better protect you should you get hit by a car while on your bike.
It should be noted that Volvo is actively trying to make better cars so that distracted drivers don’t hit cyclists in the first place. Standard in their cars is a cyclist detection system with full auto brake that uses the car’s cameras and radars to detect cyclists, warn the driver of an imminent collision, and apply the brakes if further action is needed.
The Volvo-POC research project consists of a number of specially designed crash tests at the Volvo Cars safety research facilities in Gothenburg, Sweden and is part of a wider research project to understand the types of long-term injuries sustained by cyclists. During these tests, POC bike helmets are worn by crash dummy heads mounted on a testing rig, from where they are launched towards different areas of the hood of a static Volvo car, at different speeds and angles for various measurements.
The tests are based on existing regulatory test procedures for pedestrian head protection. This allows Volvo Cars and POC to make a direct comparison between wearing a helmet and not wearing a helmet. Current bike helmet testing procedures are fairly rudimentary, involving helmets being dropped from different heights on either a flat or an angled surface, and do not take into account vehicle to bike accidents. The Volvo-POC project aims to further refine and advance such testing.
The learnings from the research project will help POC make its helmets safer and more protective in the event of you being hit by a car, while the tests will also provide valuable insights and learnings for Volvo Cars into these types of accidents for future development.