MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System, and it is a type of technology used in bicycle helmets to reduce the impact of rotational forces that can occur during a crash. When a cyclist falls off their bike, the head is often subjected to rotational forces that can cause the brain to twist and turn within the skull. These rotational forces can cause brain injuries, such as concussions or even more severe traumatic brain injuries.
MIPS technology is designed to mitigate these rotational forces by allowing the helmet to move slightly during impact. The MIPS system consists of a thin liner inside the helmet that sits between the head and the helmet's outer shell. This liner is made up of a low-friction layer that allows the helmet to move slightly in any direction upon impact, thereby reducing the rotational forces on the brain.
A helmet that is MIPS certified means that it has been tested and approved by the MIPS organization for its ability to reduce rotational forces during a crash. To obtain MIPS certification, the helmet must meet specific testing requirements and pass rigorous safety standards. These standards are designed to ensure that the helmet will perform as expected in real-world scenarios.
The MIPS certification process involves a series of laboratory tests that simulate different types of impacts and crashes. The tests are designed to evaluate how well the helmet performs in reducing rotational forces and protecting the head from injury. Helmets that pass these tests are then awarded MIPS certification, which can be displayed on the product packaging or website.
It's important to note that while a MIPS-certified helmet can provide an extra layer of protection against certain types of head injuries, it's not a guarantee that the helmet will prevent all head injuries. Cyclists should always wear helmets when riding and take other safety precautions, such as obeying traffic laws and wearing reflective clothing, to reduce the risk of accidents.
In conclusion, MIPS certification indicates that a helmet has passed rigorous safety tests designed to evaluate its ability to reduce rotational forces during a crash. It's one of several factors to consider when selecting a helmet, and it can provide an extra layer of protection against certain types of head injuries.