There are more and more electric cars on the road now, but we find that not many people wear helmets. To this end, the relevant departments this year launched a safety protection operation, requiring and guiding motorcycle, electric vehicle occupants to wear helmets. Cycling is safe without a helmet and certainly less with a reliable helmet. So can cycling helmets on the market, especially electric helmets, effectively protect the safety of cyclists? The reporter investigated this.
Recently, with the relevant departments and all over the safety measures for electric bicycles have been introduced, reporters found that a variety of electric helmets instantly became a sought-after goods, prices are also in response to the rise. In some malls and electric car dealerships, distribution staff told reporters that when the supply of helmets is most tight, prices have more than doubled.
Electric car helmet sales staff: originally more than twenty dollars, rose to forty or fifty (dollars), there are more expensive.
There is a lack of regulation in the name of electric helmet products in the market.
Survey reporters found that compared to the more mature motorcycle helmet products, the helmet used for electric bicycles is not uniform. In the distribution site, some called “electric vehicle helmet”, some called “power car protective cap”, and some called “electric vehicle hard hat”. Prices are also much lower than motorcycle helmets, which range in price from 30 to 50 yuan, and a small number of products cost around 100 yuan. Reporters found that in many e-bike stores, the sale of helmet products are generally lighter, thinner, simple structure, only a layer of housing and a layer of plastic lining. Sales staff claim the helmet is safe and can even be used for motorcycle riding.
Reporter: So light?
Electric car helmet salesman: Helmets, not all of them.
Reporter: There’s only one layer of plastic in there, no cushion foam?
Electric car helmet salesman: No.
Reporter: So this one’s strong?
Electric car helmet salesman: That must be strong.
Reporter: The speed of an electric car is no problem, is it?
Electric car helmet salesman: Yes, that’s all right. A lot of (riding) motorcycles are (wearing) this kind of.
Many sales staff told reporters that this thinner product is used for summer riding “summer helmet”, and light breathable is also the biggest difference between electric helmet and motorcycle helmet.
Electric car helmet sales staff: This is the summer helmet, there is not much (fill), unlike professional motorcycle helmet inside the filler, it sinks, is the electric car helmet.
Reporter: That feels a little light, too, you see.
Electric car helmet salesman: It’s so light, how can I give you the whole thing?
Market Research: Some electric vehicle helmet quality information is missing.
Reporters found that many of the so-called electric bicycle helmets on sale, in addition to simple structure, but also mostly lack of labels and other quality information. Products sold are packed in plastic bags and do not have complete boxes or bags. Sales staff told reporters that they are not fully packaged when the goods, the product does not have the manufacturer’s name, address, telephone, production date and other information.
Electric car helmet salesman: Also give me the whole big box, take a dozen, twenty, I now have these left.
Reporter: Which manufacturer doesn’t know?
Electric car helmet sales staff: I don’t know, no manufacturers. Is to use this big box (packaging).
After market research, the reporter found that some of the e-bike helmets appear in the name of the product, there is a relatively simple structure, lack of quality information and other phenomena. Can such a riding helmet effectively protect the safety of the user? The reporter randomly purchased five cycling helmets for quality testing. In addition to a motorcycle helmet, several other electric helmets claimed by merchants range in price from 20 to 60 yuan.
In the general standard technical service Co. , Ltd. Guangzhou branch with 15 years of experience in safety testing of protective helmets, test engineers told reporters that there is no national standard for electric vehicle helmets, testing such products are generally carried out in accordance with corporate standards, but the reporter purchased 5 helmets, 4 without labels express enterprise standards. Considering the homogeneity of the sport, the motorcycle helmet standard of GB811 and the GB24429 sports helmet standard can be referenced for safety testing of the electric vehicle helmet sample.
Reporters learned that the investigation of cycling helmet safety performance, anti-sharp object impact penetration performance is particularly important. So the reporter bought a few electric car helmets, penetration performance will be how?
Reporters saw that this blue helmet, was pierced through a round hole.
This grey helmet, the top housing opens directly under the action of a tapered head.
And this white helmet, but also appeared in the top, side shell was pierced and cracked.
The most severely damaged was the black helmet, which not only pierced a hole in the top shell to a maximum diameter of about 2 cm, but also the plastic lining inside the helmet, which was pierced by the tapered head of the test, which was broken.
Standard Technical Services Co. , Ltd. Guangzhou branch test engineer Xie Sihai: has penetrated from the outside to the inside, this helmet can not fully protect our head, in the process of use (in the face of sharp object impact) will be injured, this is not a good helmet.
Penetrating test: 4 helmet housings are cracked.
After testing, the reporter purchased five cycling helmets, four of which were in the penetration test, there were different degrees of damage. Consumers who use such riding helmets will undoubtedly face great safety risks.
The test engineers also conducted a wearing device stability test, which is a test of the strength of the helmet cap strap. The helmet should have been firmly tied to the user’s head, did not expect that under the external force, the helmet because the cap belt strength is not enough, the helmet fell off the situation. Test engineers told reporters that if you encounter strong winds or branches in the ride, such helmets can easily fall off, let alone protect the head.
Reporters in the course of market research found that most electric helmets are also equipped with tea or other color goggles. Test engineers told reporters that in fact, the light pass rate of goggles also directly affects cycling safety. The helmet’s goggles showed a light pass rate of only 20.76 percent during the test, a significant difference from the safety required by national standards.
Standard Technical Services Co. , Ltd. Guangzhou branch test engineer Zhang Wei: We just tested a result, (light) pass rate is about 20%, but the national standard (GB) 811 standard requirements are more than 85% to meet the requirements, can let us see more clearly, if there is a color, will lead to the pass rate directly down to less than 50%.
Light pass rate test: Goggles have color that affects clear field of view.
Test engineers have revealed that goggles that meet national standards are generally colorless, while colored goggles can significantly increase their light passing rate, affecting the clarity of vision in cycling.
After testing, the reporter bought five cycling helmets, only a 500 yuan motorcycle helmet safety indicators have met the national standard requirements. The other four electric vehicle helmets, one failed the wearer stability test, two failed the goggles’ light pass rate test, and in the penetration performance test, none of the four electric vehicle helmets passed the safety test.
The survey found that a large number of electric helmets lack a cushioning structure.
Reporters learned that a high-quality cycling helmet, in addition to a certain strength of the shell, to resist the damage of sharp objects, but also have an indispensable buffer layer to reduce the impact energy. Therefore, in the national standards of motorcycle helmets and bicycle helmets, riding helmets have cushioning requirements to ensure that in the event of a fall, the top, side and back of the helmet have absorbent collision performance, play a safe role. And reporters in the market survey saw a lot of helmets, as well as the purchase of several electric car helmets, a common feature is that there is no such buffer layer.
Huang Yongqiang, Technical Director of Personal Protective Products Department, Guangzhou Branch of General Standard Technical Services Co., Ltd.: We see most of the products that claim to be e-bike rider helmets, although their appearance is quite similar to bicycle or motorcycle helmets, but their interior is empty, there is no foam buffer layer. In this way, the user accidentally falls while riding, the helmet does not absorb energy at the moment when his head and ground hit, the user may suffer serious brain damage, and even may even die.
Test engineers told reporters that if the material used in such helmets is not tough enough, there is a risk of being pierced by sharp objects. According to the reporter’s observation, the current road electric car cyclists, many people are actually wearing is not such a buffer layer of electric vehicle helmets, the interior is only a layer of hollow plastic. Many cyclists are not aware of the hidden safety risks of such helmets.
Reporter: No buffer bubbles or anything like that?
Citizen: No, no.
Reporter: Is that safe?
Citizen: Very safe.
Tests have found that cycling helmets are of poor quality, depending on whether the buffer layer and helmet housing work. But disturbingly, most of the electric bike helmet products surveyed by reporters either did not have a cushioning layer or the housing was not tough enough, and the tests showed varying degrees of damage. Such products clearly do little to protect them. In the first half of this year, Shandong province’s market regulatory authorities, including motorcycle helmets, e-bike helmets, including cycling helmet products in a special spot check, some products also exposed certain quality problems.
In 2020, Shandong Province Market Supervision Bureau special spot checks, 19 batches of 11 batches of non-compliant motorcycle helmets and electric vehicle helmet products, many riding helmets do not meet the project is still many. None of these non-compliant items is closely related to cycling safety.
General standard technical services Co. , Ltd. Guangzhou Branch personal protective supplies department technical director Huang Yongqiang: the main non-compliant items are helmet wearing device strength performance, helmet absorption impact energy performance and helmet penetration performance, in addition to wearing devices, helmet goggles and other items also appear non-conformity.
Some enterprises lower the standard of hidden dangers “helmet” into the market.
Reporters note that some of the current special spot checks are more aimed at motorcycle helmets, because of the lack of special national standards, the quality testing of electric helmets is not a lot. But at present, the electric vehicle helmet market presents some phenomena, so that the vast number of consumers are difficult to build enough confidence in the quality and safety of electric vehicle helmets. Lack of enterprise information, incomplete labeling, different enterprise standards, these phenomena show that the electric vehicle helmet industry needs to be standardized, product quality conditions need to be further improved. Test engineers told reporters that some enterprises in fact know their own product quality, but through the practice of lowering corporate standards, hope that the product can obtain a paper excellent “quality certificate”, according to test engineers revealed that even so, there are some electric helmets or quality concerns.
General standard technical services Co. , Ltd. Guangzhou Branch personal protective equipment department technical director Huang Yongqiang: there are some manufacturers prepared their own enterprise standards, in these enterprise standards, or no absorption impact energy test (project), or will be the specific test drop height reduced to very little, such as the original motorcycle helmet, Class B height is 1 meter 6, may be reduced to 1 meter or less height, to do this impact test, so that the helmet is not able to protect the user, Because there is no function at all to absorb the impact energy.
Test engineers revealed that in a recent test involving electric helmets, only one company had a crash energy-absorbing test in corporate standards, and other products did not have the testing requirements for the most important safety project.
Several helmet ruptures expose poor materials.
Reporters learned that, with the electric car helmet gradually received attention, especially since this year around the requirements for wearing helmets have been introduced, many plastics, toys and other industries have joined the ranks of production. But individual companies are lagging behind in technology and reducing safety designs, such as not giving helmets cushions that absorb collision energy, or using raw materials of poor quality at low cost, which can put safety concerns in electric helmets. Reporters bought four electric car helmets in the penetration performance test have appeared in the helmet housing rupture phenomenon, in fact, exposed the use of poor materials.
General standard technical services Co. , Ltd. Guangzhou Branch personal protective supplies department technical director Huang Yongqiang: usually meet the standard requirements of the shell material, is generally a new tough hard plastic, such as ABS (material), some will even mix glass fiber this reinforced material, but not through the test of several helmets, we guess may be mixed with recycled materials, that is, the industry said “water mouth material”, although the appearance can not be seen, but in the actual testing, performance differences are quite obvious.
About 80 percent of motorcycle and e-bike drivers die from brain injuries, according to a report from the public security department, while studies have shown that wearing a safety helmet properly can reduce traffic fatality by 60 to 70 percent. These figures highlight the importance of wearing a cycling helmet and the need for helmet quality and safety. Reporters learned that for the current quality of electric vehicle helmets, the relevant agencies are brewing in the existing GB811 motorcycle helmet standards, increase some safety requirements for electric vehicle helmets, so that electric vehicle helmets can also be within the standard safety requirements.
Cycling safety is no small matter, a safe riding helmet, is the greatest protection of life safety. Currently on the market for cycling helmets, from the outside is divided into full helmet, 3/4 helmet, half helmet these kinds. Among them, the full helmet in the absorption of collision energy performance, penetration performance and other aspects of the best, the highest safety, but because of poor breathability, summer will be very sultry. Half-helmet helmets are lighter and breathable. By contrast, 3/4 helmets can be protective and breathable, and experts suggest that consumers should choose more of them for electric vehicle riding. Experts also stress that regardless of the type of riding helmet chosen, the most important thing is to focus on products with a cushioning layer, while also paying attention to the choice of colorless goggles helmet products, through which to ensure that the helmet is bought with a thick enough cushioning layer, a tough enough shell, and a clear enough view.
According to the China Bicycle Association statistics, the current national e-bikes hold nearly 300 million, such a huge number, wearing a high-quality electric vehicle helmet, is obviously every user’s “top priority.” The market demand for safety protection, the uneven quality situation, are calling for the introduction of national standards for electric helmets, from structure to materials have made clear safety requirements. In this way, it not only sets a safety bottom line for the market, but also sets up a safety line for every cyclist.