What do we think of this one?

swansonj

Guru
http://keswickmrt.org.uk/rescue/carlside-skiddaw-81/

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team report rescuing a mountain biker who had an incident in which he lost consciousness through a presumed bang to the head, and broke his collarbone for good measure. The report includes a reasonably clear photo of the damaged helmet:
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Do we think that might be a helmet that absorbed significant energy, justifying the claim that it saved him from worse injury, or not?
 

Slick

Guru
Obviously this is going to be a list of more of the same on everyone's beliefs, educated or otherwise so I may as well throw my tuppence in and say, yes it looks to me like it saved the rider from serious injury. Quincy will be along soon to tell us about rotational forces and if the rider wasn't wearing the hat he wouldn't have landed butter side down in the first place.
 
OP
swansonj

swansonj

Guru
Yeah, I realise that many of the replies to this thread are likely to be familiar, but I thought the relatively rare appearance of a half-decent photo might allow a little bit more informed analysis....

I confess my initial reaction was surprise that, if he had been knocked unconscious, the helmet didn't show more damage; but I am not a materials scientist.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
We don't know what condition the helmet was in beforehand, we can't see inside it, we can't measured the compressed areas and make a calculation as to the energy required to cause any such permanent deformation...

We can only speculate.

Suffice to say mountain rescue use hard shell helmets and don't entrust their skulls to expanded polystyrene. We cross train with Edale MR a couple of times a year and I have one myself.
 
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