The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is one of the most respected authorities on roadway safety in the                                                                                        United States, and they have conducted extensive research regardingMotorcycle Helmet Safety the benefits of motorcycle helmets. In 2022 alone, they found that helmets saved the lives of over 1,600 bikers. Additionally, another 780 lives could have been saved if all motorcyclists had been wearing helmets at the time of their accidents. These numbers speak to the effectiveness of helmets in preventing serious injuries and tragic outcomes.

The effectiveness of helmets can be measured through statistics. According to the NHTSA, wearing a helmet is estimated to be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and 41% effective for motorcycle passengers. This means that helmets can save thousands of lives each year. However, an ill-fitting helmet can greatly reduce these percentages. A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that a helmet that moves just one inch during an impact may reduce its effectiveness by as much as 20%.

Choosing one that meets federal safety standards is essential when looking for a helmet. These helmets will have a “DOT” sticker on the back, indicating that they have been tested and approved by the Department of Transportation. Additionally, helmets that meet the safety standards of the Snell Memorial Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving helmet safety, provide additional reassurance.

Picking the Right Motorcycle Helmet Fit for You

When confirming the proper fit of a motorcycle helmet, the first step is to ensure that it is DOT-approved. Look for a sticker or label indicating its approval. The NHTSA recommends checking for the following features when purchasing a helmet:

Thick Inner Liner: The safe helmet should have a firm, polystyrene foam inner liner with a minimum thickness requirement of one inch. The liner should cover the entire inside of the helmet, not just the top, and fit snugly against your head.

Sturdy Chinstraps:

Ensure the helmet is positioned securely on top of your head. Then, fasten the chinstraps and verify the following:

– The cheek pads rest comfortably against your cheeks.
– No gaps exist between your temple and brow pads. A snug fit indicates proper sizing.
– If equipped, the neck roll should not push the helmet base away from the back of your neck.
– In the case of full-face helmets, neither the helmet nor the face shield should come into contact with your nose or chin, even when the chin piece is pressed.

Sturdy chinstraps prevent the risk of your helmet coming off in a crash, and good rivets keep the strap from separating from the helmet. Wiggle the helmet up and down and side to side with your hands. Your scalp should move along with the helmet. If the helmet moves independently from your skin, it is not secure.

Weight and Style

Safe helmets that meet DOT standards typically weigh around three pounds, while lighter helmets are often unsafe. Although choosing a cool helmet with fun accessories like mohawks may be tempting, safety should always come first. Remember, no part of your helmet should extend beyond two-tenths of an inch from the surface.

Beware of Used or Modified Helmets

When it comes to motorcycle helmets, caution is key. A helmet that has been involved in a previous crash cannot provide the same level of protection as an undamaged one. Over time, the protective lining inside the helmet compresses, especially if it has sustained impact. Purchasing a used helmet puts your safety at risk.

Furthermore, don’t alter the interior lining or chin straps of your helmet for the sake of comfort. If the helmet fits too snugly in certain areas, opt for a different helmet instead of attempting to cut away foam for better comfort. Remember, numerous helmet options are available, and you will eventually find one that fits just right.

Note: Never buy a novelty helmet, as the NHTSA says they are basically useless in a crash

When riding, it’s important to remember always to wear a helmet and follow Ohio motorcycle laws. If you’ve been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, the motorcycle accident attorneys at Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault are here to help you seek compensation for your injuries.

Contact our office today to set up a free consultation: 419-843-6663.