Helmet testing and impact modeling: an approach to better understand the problematic of concussion in short track speed skating
The sport of short track speed skating is an extremely fast paced sport, in which multiple skaters, reaching speeds upwards of 50 km/h, jockey for position on a narrow track. Although skaters wear protective equipment and helmets, concussions continue to plague the health of athletes. Currently, there are no statistics on the rates and prevalence of concussion in short track speed skaters. Additionally, there is no research that has investigated how current short track speed skating helmets protect the brain. The first part of this project will investigate the injury data of Quebec short track speed skaters over the past 6 years to establish the rates and prevalence of head injuries and concussions. The second part of this project will test current helmet models against different impact scenarios. The third part of the project will analyze
in-lab impact test data using a computer model of the human brain. This computer model will allow us to understand the stresses and strains the skull and brain undergo during impact. These projects are important steps in understanding the prevalence of head injury in short track speed skaters, as well as a deeper understanding of the effect impacts have on the brain and provide guidelines for next generation helmets.