Motorcyclists face higher risks than other drivers. As a motorcyclist, you have less protection during an accident, not to mention negligent drivers tend to miss motorcyclists. Before you take your bike for a spin, you must have adequate protective gear.
Finding a safe helmet requires understanding what makes helmets safe and unsafe.
What makes a helmet unsafe?
Always check the safety ratings in advance when looking for a new helmet. A safe helmet will have a DOT symbol to guarantee that the helmet meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. While the NHTSA does not approve helmets itself, they do conduct tests on some helmets to ensure they meet the standard. Sometimes, the tests are random, but often the NHTSA takes complaints about other helmets into consideration.
Unsafe helmets may include novelty helmets and skullcap-style helmets. Do not trust helmets that boast extra thinness or that lack a foam lining. A good helmet should weigh about three pounds.
How can you ensure you have a safe helmet?
In addition to checking safety ratings, you should ensure that your helmet fits. Every person has a differently shaped head. Think about your head shape and determine whether you need a round oval, long oval or intermediate oval shape. A good-fitting helmet will not move around on your head. Instead, a safe helmet will feel a little tight or apply minimal pressure around your head. However, it will not be an uncomfortable amount of pressure.
Measure your head before you invest in a helmet to feel more sure of your size.