Regular Gizmag readers may recall the Hövding airbag collar we covered back in October 2010. Recent tests by Swedish insurance company Folksam suggest that, when it comes to direct impact tests, the Hövding beats the competition hands down.

Not content with CE standards which test direct impacts at a speed of 20 km/h (12 mph), Folksam instead conducted more onerous tests using impacts at 25 km/h (16 mph).

According to Treehugger, Folksam tested 12 CE-approved helmets and found that the Hövding recorded impacts of 65 Gs at this speed, whereas none of the competition achieved under 200 Gs of force, suggesting that when it comes to direct impact forces, the collar performs almost three times better than conventional helmets.

However, Folksam was unable to apply its method of testing oblique impacts to the Hövding, and suggests that an alternative method will need to be devised. For this reason it appears that Hövding does not appear in Folksam's top-performing helmets which takes findings from both tests.

Inflation of the Hövding airbag takes only one tenth of a second and is triggered by built in accelerometers and gyros.

Sources: Treehugger, Folksam