Category Archives: helmet expert witness

Helmet expert witness Dr. John Lloyd has served attorneys nationwide for 25+ years in biomechanics, human factors, helmet testing and motorcycle accident expert

Research article “Brain Injury in Sports” published in Journal of Neurosurgery

Dr. Lloyd is pleased to announce that his research article  on Sports Brain Injury, co-authored with Dr. Frank Conidi has been published in the Journal of Neurosurgery:

Lloyd - Sports Brain Injury

OBJECT
Helmets are used for sports, military, and transportation to protect against impact forces and associated injuries. The common belief among end users is that the helmet protects the whole head, including the sports brain injury. However, current consensus among biomechanists and sports neurologists indicates that helmets do not provide significant protection against concussion and sport brain injury. In this paper the authors present existing scientific evidence on the mechanisms underlying traumatic head and sports brain injury, along with a biomechanical evaluation of 21 current and retired football helmets.

METHODS
The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) standard test apparatus was modified and validated for impact testing of protective headwear to include the measurement of both linear and angular kinematics. From a drop height of 2.0 m onto a flat steel anvil, each football helmet was impacted 5 times in the occipital area.

RESULTS
Skull fracture risk was determined for each of the current varsity football helmets by calculating the percentage reduction in linear acceleration relative to a 140-g skull fracture threshold. Risk of subdural hematoma was determined by calculating the percentage reduction in angular acceleration relative to the bridging vein failure threshold, computed as a function of impact duration. Ranking the helmets according to their performance under these criteria, the authors determined that the Schutt Vengeance performed the best overall.

CONCLUSIONS
The study findings demonstrated that not all football helmets provide equal or adequate protection against either focal head injuries or traumatic brain injuries. In fact, some of the most popular helmets on the field ranked among the worst. While protection is improving, none of the current or retired varsity football helmets can provide absolute protection against brain injuries, including concussions and subdural hematomas. To maximize protection against head and brain injuries for football players of all ages, the authors propose thresholds for all sports helmets based on a peak linear acceleration no greater than 90 g and a peak angular acceleration not exceeding 1700 rad/sec2.

http://thejns.org/doi/abs/10.3171/2014.11.JNS141742

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NI Week features John Lloyd football helmet expert

Football helmet expert, Dr. John Lloyd,  had the privilege to present his research on football helmets as part of the Keynote address at the National Instrument conference in Austin, TX this week. The audience of 5,000+ attendees learned about Dr. Lloyd’s research into biomechanics of the brain.

 

It has been said that helmets cannot prevent concussions. I disagree.

As a biomechanist I have dedicated my career to studying the biomechanics of brain injuries. There are two key mechanical forces that give rise to head and brain injuries (1) linear forces, which are responsible for visible injuries, including bruising and skull fractures, and (2) rotational forces, which cause invisible injuries, such as concussion and brain injury.

Since helmets are currently designed to pass testing standards that focus on linear forces only, it is no surprise that helmets have limited benefit in preventing concussions. Through advances in medicine we have learned that concussions can potentially have life-long neurological consequences, including memory impairement and personality changes / behavioral effects.

Over the past years I have developed and validated a testing method to evaluate helmets in terms of their ability to protect against both linear and rotational forces. Using this apparatus I characterized football helmets, results of which have been submitted to Science for publication.

Based on lessons learned from my biomechanical evaluation of various sports helmets, I have devised a matrix of shear-thickening non-Newtonian materials. A prototype helmet was constructed using this matrix liner, results of which show that rotational forces that cause concussion and other brain injuries are reduced by up to 50% compared to a leading football helmet, while also reducing linear forces.

Football helmet expert Dr. John Lloyd

helmet prototype reduces concussion risk

It is my goal and my passion to work with leading helmet companies to make this technology available to players and sports participants of all aged to enhance their protection against brain trauma. I am looking to collaborate with one manufacturer in each sport to offer an exclusive license patent-pending technology.

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