STANFORD, CALIFORNIA — Wearing helmets may reduce risk of serious injury to the millions of people around the world riding bicycles, but it turns out the type of helmet also matters.

Researchers from Stanford University found that helmets equipped with airbag technology offer five times more protection than your standard foam ones, according to Reuters.

The test was conducted using two test dummies — one wearing a foam helmet, and another with an airbag helmet. Both were then dropped from varying heights to simulate an accident.

Conventional helmets may prevent skull fractures during accidents, but don’t often protect against concussions and other similar head injuries.

In lieu of foam as protection, airbag helmets are inflated with helium, and worn like a collar around the neck. Sensors monitor the cyclist’s normal movements, and deploy automatically once they detect something abnormal, such as a collision.

Upon deployment, an inflated hood is released from the collar. The hood covers most of the head and absorbs shock during impact.

The researchers warn however, that the airbag helmets may pose a bigger risk if not deployed properly.

The helmets are made by Swedish company Hovding and are currently only available in Europe.
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