Virginia Tech releases data on relative safety of football helmets
For eight years, Viriginia Tech has been outfitting college football players with helmets equipped with accelerometers to track the force of impacts involving the players and the incidence of concussion. The study did not attempt to assess rotational forces involved in causing head injuries. Football helmet manufacturers have agreed in the past not to publish similar studies, with the excuse that the information would be misleading or mis-used.This month, the University will be publishing the peer-reviewed results of its study in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering. The results show that switching from a Riddell VSR-4 model to the Xenith XR-1 helmet would reduce a player's likelihood of concussion by 55%. The VSR-4 was recently taken out of production but is still used by an estimated 75,000 high school players. The best performer tested was the Riddell Revolution Speed model, rated "five-stars." Other helmets made by Riddell, Schutt and Xenith were rated four-stars.