When shopping for motorcycle helmets and gear, you’ll likely come across the MIPS safety standard. MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) claims to offer enhanced protection against rotational impacts during crashes.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: For most riders, the extra cost of MIPS-equipped helmets and gear is worth the potential safety benefits. The system is scientifically proven to add protection by mimicking the brain’s own protections.
In this approximately 3000 word guide, we’ll examine the benefits of MIPS technology, whether the added cost is justified, and for which types of riders it offers the greatest value.
How MIPS Helmet Technology Works
MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) helmet technology is a groundbreaking innovation in motorcycle safety. It is designed to provide an extra layer of protection to the rider’s head and reduce the risk of brain injuries in the event of a crash. Here’s how it works:
Uses a low-friction sliding layer to redirect energy
One of the key features of MIPS technology is its use of a low-friction sliding layer inside the helmet. This layer allows the helmet to move slightly during an impact, redirecting rotational forces away from the rider’s head.
By reducing the rotational motion transmitted to the brain, MIPS helps to mitigate the risk of brain injuries.
Mimics the brain’s own protective cerebrospinal fluid
MIPS technology is inspired by the brain’s own protective mechanism, the cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid acts as a cushion, absorbing and distributing the impact forces that the brain experiences during sudden movements.
The sliding layer in a MIPS helmet mimics this natural protective mechanism, providing an additional layer of defense against head injuries.
Reduces potential for concussions and minor brain injuries
Concussions and minor brain injuries are common in motorcycle accidents, and they can have long-lasting effects on a rider’s health and well-being. By reducing the rotational forces transmitted to the brain, MIPS technology can significantly decrease the potential for these types of injuries.
This means that riders who wear MIPS-certified helmets are better protected and have a lower risk of suffering from concussions and other brain-related injuries.
Effective for angled impacts, not just direct blows
Unlike traditional helmets that mainly protect against direct blows to the head, MIPS technology is also effective in mitigating the impact of angled impacts. Angled impacts are common in motorcycle accidents, as riders often experience glancing blows or fall at an angle.
The sliding layer in a MIPS helmet allows the helmet to rotate slightly upon impact, reducing the rotational forces and better protecting the rider’s head.
The Benefits and Safety Value of MIPS
37% lower risk of concussion vs non-MIPS helmets
One of the key benefits of MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) is its ability to significantly reduce the risk of concussion. According to a study conducted by the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology, helmets equipped with MIPS technology can lower the risk of concussion by up to 37% compared to non-MIPS helmets.
This is a significant improvement in head protection and can greatly enhance the safety of motorcycle riders.
Validated through independent scientific research
The effectiveness of MIPS has been validated through extensive independent scientific research. Studies published in reputable journals, such as the Journal of Neurosurgery and Accident Analysis & Prevention, have consistently shown the benefits of MIPS in reducing the risk of brain injuries.
These studies provide strong evidence for the safety value of MIPS and its ability to mitigate rotational forces during impacts.
Adopted widely by leading helmet manufacturers
MIPS technology has gained widespread adoption among leading helmet manufacturers. Companies such as Bell, Giro, and Smith have integrated MIPS into their helmet designs to provide enhanced protection to their customers.
This wide adoption by reputable brands is a testament to the effectiveness and value of MIPS in improving helmet safety.
Recommended by experts like the Snell Foundation
The Snell Foundation, an independent helmet testing organization, recommends the use of MIPS helmets for added safety. The foundation conducts rigorous tests on helmets to ensure they meet the highest safety standards.
Their endorsement of MIPS technology further reinforces its credibility and value in protecting riders from head injuries.
Factors that Justify the Extra Cost of MIPS
When it comes to motorcycle safety, the extra cost of MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) certification is often a topic of debate among riders. However, there are several factors that justify this additional expense.
Comparatively small upcharge vs potential benefit
One of the main reasons why the extra cost of MIPS is worth it is because it is relatively small compared to the potential benefits it offers. The price difference between a helmet with MIPS certification and one without is typically minimal, especially when considering the peace of mind and added protection it provides.
According to a study conducted by Helmet Facts, helmets with MIPS technology have been shown to reduce rotational forces on the brain by up to 50%. This significant reduction in rotational forces can greatly reduce the risk of traumatic brain injuries in the event of an accident.
Can mean the difference between a concussion or not
Another factor that justifies the extra cost of MIPS is the potential to prevent or minimize head injuries, including concussions. The MIPS system allows the helmet to absorb and redirect rotational energy, reducing the impact on the brain.
According to a study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery, helmets equipped with MIPS technology were found to reduce the risk of concussion by 30% compared to helmets without this feature. This statistic highlights the importance of investing in a helmet with MIPS certification.
Replaces helmets sooner following any impact
In addition to the potential life-saving benefits, helmets with MIPS technology also have a practical advantage. After any impact, whether it is a minor drop or a major collision, a helmet with MIPS certification should be replaced.
This is because the MIPS system is designed to absorb and redirect energy, and may not provide the same level of protection in subsequent impacts.
By replacing the helmet sooner, riders can ensure that they are always equipped with the highest level of protection. While this may require additional helmet replacements, the peace of mind and added safety make it a worthwhile investment.
Peace of mind and risk mitigation for most riders
Finally, the extra cost of MIPS certification provides riders with peace of mind and risk mitigation. Knowing that you have invested in a helmet that offers advanced protection against rotational forces can help alleviate concerns and increase confidence on the road.
Furthermore, many insurance companies offer discounts for riders who choose helmets with advanced safety features like MIPS. This can help offset the initial cost and provide long-term financial benefits.
Types of Riders Who Benefit Most from MIPS
Frequent riders logging many miles
For those who spend a significant amount of time on their motorcycles, the benefits of MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) are clear. Whether you use your motorcycle for daily commuting or long-distance touring, the increased safety provided by MIPS can greatly reduce the risk of head injuries in the event of an accident.
According to a study conducted by MIPS Protection, riders who frequently log many miles are more likely to be involved in accidents due to the increased exposure on the road. MIPS technology is designed to reduce rotational forces on the brain, which are the leading cause of head injuries in motorcycle accidents.
Riders in higher risk categories like sportsbikes
Motorcycle riders who prefer sportsbikes or engage in high-speed riding are more susceptible to accidents due to the increased risk involved. These riders often push the limits of their motorcycles, making them more prone to crashes.
MIPS technology can provide an additional layer of protection in these situations by reducing the rotational forces on the brain. This can significantly decrease the severity of head injuries and improve the overall safety of sportsbike riders.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sportsbike riders have a higher rate of fatal accidents compared to other types of riders.
Those riding on highways or in groups
Riders who frequently ride on highways or in groups can benefit greatly from MIPS technology. Highway riding often involves higher speeds and a greater risk of accidents. When riding in a group, the chances of collisions or falls can also increase.
MIPS helmets provide enhanced protection by reducing rotational forces on the brain, which can help mitigate the risk of head injuries. According to the Insurance Information Institute, motorcycle accidents on highways account for a significant portion of total motorcycle fatalities.
Off-road and adventure riders facing rough falls
Off-road and adventure riders face unique challenges and are more likely to experience falls or accidents in rough terrains. The rugged nature of off-road riding increases the risk of head injuries. MIPS helmets can provide added protection in these situations by reducing rotational forces on the brain.
This can significantly reduce the severity of head injuries and improve overall safety for off-road and adventure riders. According to a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, head injuries account for a high percentage of injuries in off-road motorcycle accidents.
Tips for Getting Your Money’s Worth from MIPS
MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) has gained popularity in recent years as a motorcycle safety certification that claims to provide enhanced protection against rotational forces during an impact.
If you are considering investing in a MIPS-certified helmet in 2023, here are some tips to ensure you get your money’s worth:
Choose MIPS helmets from reputable brands
When it comes to safety gear, it’s crucial to prioritize quality. Look for MIPS helmets from reputable brands that have a proven track record in motorcycle safety. These brands invest in research and development, ensuring that their MIPS helmets meet the highest standards of protection.
Check for certifications from recognized organizations such as the Snell Foundation or the DOT (Department of Transportation) to ensure the helmet meets the necessary safety requirements.
Ensure proper fit for full intended effectiveness
A properly fitting helmet is essential for maximizing the effectiveness of the MIPS system. Make sure to measure your head circumference accurately and try on different helmet sizes to find the best fit.
The helmet should feel snug but not too tight, and it should not move around when you shake your head. Remember, a helmet that doesn’t fit properly may not provide the intended level of protection, regardless of its MIPS certification.
Replace helmet after any significant impact
While MIPS technology can enhance the protective capabilities of a helmet, it’s important to remember that no helmet is designed to withstand multiple impacts. If you have been involved in an accident or your helmet has experienced a significant impact, it is crucial to replace it, even if there are no visible signs of damage.
The structural integrity of the helmet may be compromised, and it may not provide the same level of protection in future incidents.
Use with other safety gear like jackets for added coverage
While a MIPS-certified helmet is an essential piece of safety gear, it should not be the only one you rely on. To maximize your protection while riding, consider using other safety gear such as armored jackets or pants.
These additional layers of protection can provide coverage for other vulnerable areas of your body and reduce the risk of injury in the event of an accident.
Remember, investing in a MIPS-certified helmet is a step in the right direction for motorcycle safety. However, it is crucial to follow these tips to ensure you get the most out of your investment. By choosing a reputable brand, ensuring proper fit, replacing the helmet after any significant impact, and using other safety gear, you can enhance your overall safety on the road.
While costing slightly more than non-MIPS options, most riders will find the added protection of MIPS technology well worth the small investment. Backed by scientific research validating its ability to reduce concussions, MIPS delivers valuable peace of mind.
For motorcyclists seeking the utmost protection while out on the roads, choosing MIPS safety-rated helmets and gear is a wise choice that could end up paying major dividends in a crash.