SHARP – Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme

sharp motorcycle helmet safety assessment

The new motorcycle helmet safety ratings are now published.

New safety ratings for motorcycle helmets have been announced. New test results are being produced by the Department for Transport’s Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme (SHARP). A total of 218 motorbike helmets have now been rated (February 2011).

The point is that all motorcycle helmets must meet minimum legal safety standards.

However, the SHARP (short for Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme) scheme uses a wider range of tests to provide riders with more information on how much protection a helmet can provide in a crash.

The SHARP tests – which award ratings of between one and five stars – show that the safety performance of helmets can vary by as much as 70 per cent.

With helmets across a wide price range scoring highly all riders should be able to find a high performing helmet in a size and style that fits them and at a price they want to pay.

With the release of the latest ratings, more than 200 helmets have now been given SHARP safety ratings.

All SHARP motorcycle helmet safety ratings are available on SHARP website.

The new website features more information on how to find the right helmet and also includes demonstrations of how the SHARP tests are carried out and how to make sure a helmet fits properly.

Useful advice is available, and one thing that surprised us is the risk a helmet can come off.

The most important thing to consider when choosing your helmet isn’t the brand name or how it looks. The secret to providing yourself better head protection is in getting the right fit.

A comprehensive study in 2001 of motorcycle accidents across Europe showed that 12 % of helmets were lost during the course of the impact. Wearing a helmet that fits correctly dramatically increases your chances of surviving a crash.

To complete the comprehensive advice available through SHARP they have even included advice on motorcycle helmet cleaning.

It must make sense to look after your motorcycle helmet. A motorcycle helmet generally has a life of around five years; three years if used regularly. To get the most out of the protection your motorcycle helmet offers, you need to keep it in the best possible condition.

SHARP recommends you always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions for the specific helmet you’ve purchased. If you only occasionally use your helmet we recommend you store it safely in a helmet bag, somewhere where it won’t be dropped or knocked. You should never store a helmet lying on its crown or near to a source of heat.

Once you’ve found your motorcycle helmet, the temptation is to personalise it with paint and stickers. This is a job best left to the professionals, who will use specialist paint and adhesive to ensure your new look doesn’t weaken the shell.

Visit the new SHARP website by clicking this link.