Actually I don’t think I would have cracked open my head, had I not been wearing the helmet, because I did not fall that hard. However, about a year ago I was riding slowly through our little town when a car backed out right in front of me. I braked in time to avoid the car, but I was cleated to my pedals and could not unhook fast enough to avoid going down. I fell all the way to the pavement and my head hit the sidewalk with a thump. The helmet was only scratched lightly, not dented at all. That is why I don’t think it was that hard of a fall. I have purchased a new helmet, but I prefer to hang on to the old one to lend to friends who don’t have one at all. Better a slightly scratched helmet than no helmet at all. Had I not been wearing my helmet that day I’m sure I would have had a headache and a bruised forehead. As it was my arm and leg were the only casualties and that only surface scratches. Hopes this helps out your project!