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Helmet Lab research will have big impact on equestrians

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Category: research Video duration: Helmet Lab research will have big impact on equestrians
Stefan Duma and the Helmet Lab team at Virginia Tech are developing a system to evaluate equestrian helmets. Ultimately, they want to reduce injuries for riders by providing helmet manufacturers with a blueprint for how they can develop the best helmets.
Right now we're in the middle of a two-year project looking at developing a system to evaluate equestrian helmets, to protect writers in case they fall off and hit the ground. We look at a lot of different sports. We start with football and hockey and bicycling. And our question is a big area that we're focusing on. I started writing when I was seven years old, and that was my whole life before I decided to come to school, I competed. I was Anthony club. I did show jumping. I worked overseas for a little bit. It's risky sport. If you fall off, there's a lot of energy are at a high height. So you have a lot of head injuries, lot of concussions. So what we wanna do is we want to quantify what happens when a rider falls off a horse. If they hit the dirt, if they hit the grass, if they had seen and what does that impact characterization look like? For every sport that we work on? We want to be very sport-specific. We did hockey, we rented a I shrink and we tested on ice and boards and glass. So for question 1, do the same thing. What exactly is the impact event than the question writer sees? When they hit the ground. They're higher, they're taller. There's different surfaces. So it's so important that we characterize that impact event. So we can have an equestrian rating system that's specific for that support. I started working in the Helmet Lab last year in 2020. And since I read horses, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try it intersect those two sections of my life with science and then what sport this? Well, we have a great team and the Helmet Lab. So today we have a series of faculty that are helping lead and run the program. We also have a series of undergraduates that work in the lab and get experiential learning to help us perform all these tests. 321. We have a lot of goals. This research, the ultimate goal is to reduce injuries for writers to. The way we do that is we develop a rating system. In this case, we'll develop a questionnaire instar, and we'll give that to manufacturers as an idea and a blueprint for how they can develop the best helmets. The manufacturers will work hard because they're going to want five-star rating helmets, because that's what consumers are gonna wanna buy. So by developing a system, by rating the Hellman's, we create that circle from consumers to manufacturers, to researchers. And that's actually what drives better products. There's no rating system right now. I think it's all anecdotal like some people just prefer certain helmets, other people prefer others. It's amazing. I mean, I've had concussions in my past. So now looking back at the fact that we don't have a rating system, That's crazy to me because the injury rate is really high in the sport. So it's encouraging knowing that there's research going into the safety aspect.