How to Choose a Safe Motorcycle Helmet

Protection from injury is a primary concern for many motorcycle riders, and even though current Pennsylvania legislation does not require riders to wear a helmet if they are older than 21, many individuals still invest in this most important element of protective gear for motorcyclists.

As with any major purchase, proper research, knowledge of the market and what key features to look for are important parts of buying the best motorcycle helmet for each person. Not only do you want to be sure your helmet matches your style and personality, but you also want to be sure it offers you the most protection possible when you’re on the road.

Tips for Choosing a Safe Helmet

  1. Check the helmet’s safety rating. The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) issues safety ratings to helmets based on a laboratory testing process it developed to evaluate levels of penetration and impact protection each helmet offered. The DOT also tests for retention, which refers to the likelihood that a helmet will stay on the head during an accident or impact. The DOT tests three protection systems of a helmet during this process: the impact-absorbing liner, the outer shell and the retention system (straps and buckles that hold the helmet in place). Be sure to purchase a helmet that is certified by the DOT for safety. It is a law that all helmets that motorcyclists use for road travel bear the DOT approval sticker.
  2. Make sure your helmet fits properly. While you want your helmet to be comfortable, you also need to be sure it fits for safety purposes. A snug fit is best to ensure that the helmet will remain on your head in the case of an accident. You should feel your skin moving with the helmet when you move it around on your head. Try on several helmets and find the helmet that suits your comfort needs but also fits well for safety. Many helmets offer additional adjustable pads that you can use to customize the helmet’s fit.
  3. Consider a full-face helmet for maximum protection. These helmets offer a chin bar and a full face shield that protects against flying bugs and debris. Three-quarter face helmets and half-helmets are also available, but these helmets cover less of the face or head and are not recommended for full safety. Half-helmets are known to fall off the head on impact and offer the least safety for riders.
  4. Consider a bright color for your helmet. Just as bicyclists wear bright colors to help other vehicles see them on the road, motorcyclists should increase their visibility with brightly colored helmets if possible. Try on some helmets in your desired style that will stand out when you’re on the road with other vehicles.
  5. If your helmet is involved in an accident, replace it immediately. Receiving an impact will compromise your helmet’s protection systems. If you are in an accident, make sure you immediately shop for another safe helmet to replace the affected one.

What if I Wore a Safety Helmet and Was Injured Anyway?

If you have been injured in an accident and feel your helmet did not protect you properly, Cordisco & Saile LLC can help. Call us today to set up a consultation to discuss your case with an attorney: 215-642-2335.