The motorcyclist’s choice of a helmet can mean the difference between surviving an accident or dying. Overlooked details or stylistic choices can contribute to an unsafe decision. Just because a helmet is up for sale doesn’t mean it’s safe, or that it’s safe for you in particular. Here are five tips to follow when getting a helmet:
- Get a full face helmet. Almost half of all motorcycle injuries involve the face. Horrific and fatal injuries do occur to the face, chin, and jaw. Surviving a serious facial injury also means coping with an altered appearance, which can drastically affect your quality of life. A full face helmet also does the best job of protecting you from flying road debris and preventing wind fatigue.
- Get a DOT certified helmet. Helmets that pass testing by the Department of transportation (DOT) are certified with a DOT sticker.
- The helmet must have an energy absorbing inner layer. The standard material for this is expanded polystyrene, or EPS foam. This isn’t to be mistaken for the softer foam next to your head that provides comfort. The EPS foam should cover the entire head including the lower area for the face and jaw. This layer provides a certain amount of “give” to absorb mechanical shock that would otherwise affect the skull.
- The helmet must have a good fit. There should be no movement, either up or down, or side-to-side, between the helmet and your head. It should fit “like a glove” without any painful pressure points. Try multiple helmets and wear them for a few minutes. Style considerations should never override the fit. A well designed helmet that comes off your head in a motorcycle accident isn’t protective gear. A helmet that shifts position on your head also interferes with your view of the road.
- Stay away from used helmets. You don’t know its usage history and whether the EPS foam will do its job in an accident. A visual inspection alone isn’t sufficient.
Keep these points in mind when buying a helmet. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, contact us for a free consultation.