Wheels Guru

Training, Travels, Racing – Motorcycles and Cars

The Evolution Of Crash Helmets In The Last 100 Years

This amazing short video from Donut Media is a visualisation, how the helmets have come from being mere canvas masks to save you from bugs to not saving you from death!

Some of the key points on Donut’s helmet timeline:

  • In 1908, at the earliest auto races, drivers were rocking “soft cloth” head caps to save you from oncoming bugs.
  • The “hard shell” was 1949, for which they found what looks like an equestrian helmet as the era’s standard.
  • 1957 supposedly marked the first “mass produced” helmet, made by Bell and designed a few years earlier.
  • Fireproof Nomex came into play in 1968, with the rise of “full-face” helmets apparently taking place a couple years later. Around the same time Snell safety standards were first published.
  • We started seeing helmet restraint devices to mitigate a driver’s head pin-balling in the mid 1980‘s and communication equipment being introduced shortly after.

By 2010 fancy race helmets had fresh air intakes.

Today lightweight materials with supplementary safety systems, water straws, radios and lots and lots of stickers.

What do you think the helmets would evolve from here today?