Not according to a recent article on OZY by Meghan Walsh. Although football helmet prices range from $199 to $414, new analyses indicate that more expensive doesn’t equal better. Especially when looking at safety performance. Based on Virginia Tech’s Summation of Tests for the Analysis of Risk (STAR) rating system, five-star helmets come at low and high ends of the price range, but so do the lowest-ranked models.
Although the article confirms that helmets don’t offer a cure-all for preventing concussions, the STAR rating system lets coaches, players and parents know what protection they get for their money. Launched in 2011 by Virginia Tech’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics (led by Stefan Duma and Steven Rowson), the ratings are based on testing of how frequently players experience certain impacts, as well as if the helmet lowers head acceleration to reduce concussion risk.
The Virginia Tech team recently tested and rated hockey helmets as well.