As a responsible motorcyclist, you likely have all the safety care you need to protect yourself in the event of an accident. One of the most important pieces of safety equipment is the helmet. While state laws vary on motorcycle riders’ helmet requirements, it’s always best to wear one, as helmets improve motorcycle accident survival rates.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motorcycle crashes are both costly and deadly. The easiest way to save lives and money is a universal helmet law—which is something the United States does not have. It’s estimated that helmets save nearly 2,000 on an annual basis. Overall, helmets reduce the risk of injury by 69% and the risk of death by 37%
The Anatomy of a Safe Helmet
Motorcycle helmets are continually evolving with technological advancements. While new features like extra padding for comfort and Bluetooth speakers make riding more enjoyable, the overall anatomy of the helmet has not changed. The four main components are the outer shell, impact-absorbing liner, padded comfort layer, and retention system/chip strap. Some helmets also come with a face shield, visors, or cheek pads. Each component has a specific purpose to keep the head safe.
The outer shell is usually made of Kevlar, polycarbonate, carbon fiber, or molded plastics. Its primary function is to protect the head in the event of impact or abrasion. It also prevents penetration from outside objects. The impact-absorbing liner, which is often made from expanded polystyrene foam, is used to absorb shock and displace energy during impact.
The padded comfort lawyer is the part that rests against the head. It is typically made of an open-cell foam that is covered with a secondary cloth material. Some of the materials are designed to wick away sweat and keep riders cool. The retention system or chin strap keeps the helmet on the rider’s head. It secures below the chin, is made from a woven material, and is usually fasted with two d-rings.
Choosing the Right Helmet for You
With so many helmets on the market, it can be confusing when trying to decide which is right for you. Not only do you need to choose the proper type, but you also need to make sure it fits properly and meets any state guidelines.
Types of Motorcycle Helmets
There are six main types of motorcycle helmets. Each comes with its own pros and cons. Let’s take a look at your options:
- Full Face Helmet. A full-face helmet offers the most coverage and is generally considered the safest type of motorcycle helmet. A notable feature is the chin bar—which provides protection for a rider’s jaw and chin. Most have ventilation to evaporate sweat, reduce visor fog, and keep you cool.
- Modular (Flip-up) Helmet. With a modular helmet, the chin bar and visor can flip up to open the front of the helmet. They often have a visor for eye protection and tend to way slightly more than a full-face helmet.
- Open Face (3/4) Helmet. Open face helmet covers the top, back, and sides of your head, leaving the face exposed. They are popular with those who ride scooters, tourers, and cruises. They do not have a chin bar, but in terms of safety, they do provide coverage.
- Half Helmet. A half helmet only covers the top of your head and the area from your forehead to your brows. They offer significantly less protection and do not come equipped with a visor or face shield.
- Off-road. As the name implies, off-road helmets are means to ride on dirt roads, away from streets. They aren’t best for city or highway use but are ideal for rougher terrain.
- Dual-sport. As a mix between an off-road helmet and a full-face helmet, dual-sport helmets offer eye protection and a chin bar.
No matter which helmet you choose, make sure it fits properly. If it doesn’t, you won’t have nearly as much protection in the event of an accident.
Contact Thomas Law Offices
While helmets can reduce the risk of fatality in a motorcycle wreck, other injuries can still occur. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle crash, you may have the right to pursue compensation from the party that caused the event. At Thomas Law Offices, we understand how serious the consequences of a motorcycle crash can be, especially when you’re dealing with injuries and time away from work. If you believe someone else’s negligence caused your crash, our attorneys can evaluate your situation and determine if there are grounds for legal actions. Contact us today for more information.