How to Choose a Motorcycle Helmet
Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience, especially during the end of summer. However, safety should be your top priority. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 69%, and in 2017 alone, helmets saved an estimated 1,872 lives. That's why it's crucial to wear a helmet whenever you're on your motorcycle. However, with so many options out there, it might be difficult to know how to choose the right one. Keep reading this post and we'll show you a few ways to select a helmet for you.
Types of Motorcycle Helmets
When it comes to buying a motorcycle helmet, the options available can seem overwhelming. However, it’s important to take the time to educate yourself on the many styles.
Here are six types of helmets:
- Dual-sport motorcycle helmet: Dual-sport helmets’ newer models have integrated face shields. If you choose to purchase an older model, these helmets will include a chin bar, visor, and require goggles.
- Full-face motorcycle helmet: These helmets surround your head and are known to be comfortable and have good ventilation as well as aerodynamic features.
- Half/open-face helmets: These types of helmets only provide some level of protection. Not only is there significant wind noise, but the models also do not have a chin guard. This can increase the safety risks.
- Hi-viz motorcycle helmet: These helmets significantly increase your ability to be seen due to their vibrant, neon yellow color. These helmets are available as an option on various types of helmet styles.
- Modular motorcycle helmet: Modular helmets can be full-face or open-face. These are more common with adventure dual-sport riders and have good airflow. In addition, they work well to keep dust and dirt out of your face.
- Off-road motorcycle helmet: Off-road helmets are good for motocross and other off-roading activities. They have good airflow and include an extended chin bar, visor, and require goggles.
Ultimately, the type of helmet you choose will depend on your personal preferences and the type of riding you plan on doing.
How Do You Check if Your Helmet Is Safe?
Before you begin shopping for a helmet, be sure to check if the helmet has the DOT symbol on the outside of it. This means that it meets the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 218. However, the NHTSA relies on a self-certification process instead of approving helmets.
The NHTSA instead conducts tests on randomly selected helmets and posts their findings on an online database.
How To Measure Your Head Size for a Helmet
When it comes to finding the right helmet size, it's important to measure your head accurately. Using a cloth tape or string, start just above your eyebrows and circle it around the thickest point in the rear of your head. Once you have this measurement, cross-reference it with a helmet size chart to ensure you get the right fit.
How to Check if Your Helmet Fits You Properly
It’s important to thoroughly check that your helmet fits you properly before purchasing it.
Here are a few tips to follow:
- Make sure it is not loose. It should not move around if you shake your head.
- The helmet should sit down fully on your head.
- The helmet may be slightly tight, but not too tight.
It’s important to remember that while everyone’s head is round, it can be shaped slightly differently. Trying on your helmet is important to ensure that it’s the right one for you. Be sure you are finding a helmet that fits your head shape and not your face. For more tips on checking if your helmet fits correctly, see the Motorcycle Magazine’s video tutorial.
How Can You Tell if a Motorcycle Helmet Is Unsafe?
Unfortunately, not all helmets on the market meet federal safety standards.
Some indicators that a helmet may not be up to par include:
- The inner helmet lacks a stiff foam inner liner.
- The helmet is less than one inch thick.
- The helmet’s chin strap’s rivets are made out of plastic.
- The helmet feels too light. Helmets that meet the safety standard typically weigh around three pounds.
- Additional decorations on the helmet that extend further out than two-tenths of an inch from the helmet’s surface (beside visor fasteners).
It's important to always inspect your helmet before riding and invest in a high-quality helmet that meets federal safety standards to ensure your safety on the road.
Contact Our Motorcycle Attorneys
Choosing the right helmet that meets federal standards and is suitable for your preferred type of riding can be a challenging task but it's worth it. However, it's important to remember that while a helmet can help protect your head during an accident, other parts of your body, including your bike, are still vulnerable.
If you have been in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, our motorcycle accident attorneys at Bridges, Jillisky, Weller & Gullifer, LLC can investigate your case, identify the liable party, and work to get the compensation you need to cover your damages and injuries.
You don’t have to go through the aftermath alone. Contact us today at (937) 403-9033 or reach out to us online to start.