At Politis & Matovina, P.A., we are very serious about motorcycle safety. As avid riders, we appreciate the risks involved with operating a motorcycle. A key aspect of motorcycle safety is selecting a quality and effective motorcycle helmet. According to national data, motorcycle helmets save hundreds of lives each year. This article discusses tips on how to choose a quality motorcycle helmet that fits your needs.
Look at Helmet Safety Ratings
A helmet’s safety quality depends on the standards established by whatever regulating authority is in charge of helmet ratings in your jurisdiction. In the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is responsible for establishing minimum safety standards for helmet safety under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard #218 (FMVSS 218).
FMVSS 218 establishes standards for three properties regarding helmet performance:
- Impact attenuation. A helmet must have a minimum capability of absorbing impact forces.
- Penetration resistance. The structural integrity of a helmet must be sufficient to prevent objects from breaking through.
- The effectiveness of the retention system. A “retention system” refers to “the complete assembly by which the helmet is retained in position on the head during use.”
A helmet that conforms with the standards of FMVSS 218 will have an official Department of Transportation emblem that signifies its compliance.
Alternatively, you can look for helmets that are Snell Memorial Foundation certified. The Snell Memorial Foundation is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the safety of motorcycle helmets. Snell certified helmets use standards that are higher than those established by the NHTSA.
Check Your Proper Helmet Size
A helmet is most effective when it fits properly on the rider’s head. Helmets that are too large will not protect the rider’s head effectively.
To determine the correct size of your motorcycle helmet:
- Measure your head with a fabric measuring tape, going from around your head approximately a half inch above your eyebrows, ears, and around the largest point of the back of your head.
- Compare your measured head size to the sizes listed by the manufacturer.
- Try a helmet on before purchasing it. Helmets should sit securely on your head with the top of the eye part reaching right about your eyebrows. A secure helmet will feel too tight in the beginning, but will loosen up over time.
- Helmets may be too big if they move around easily, or if you can fit your fingers between the helmet and your head with little resistance.
What Is the Purpose of Your Riding?
Some helmet features depend on what you’re using your motorcycle for. If you frequently ride as part of a daily commute, you may want a helmet that offers effective wind noise reduction while being comfortable for frequent use. If you are occasionally riding your motorcycle with a group, then you might want to consider a helmet that fosters communication with others – such as Bluetooth capability. If you are riding on speed tracks for racing purposes, look for helmets with features like tear-off posts and sufficient venting for riding in a tucked position.
Contact an Experienced Attorney at Politis & Matovina, P.A.
At Politis & Matovina, P.A., we are motorcycle enthusiasts. This means that we are very conscious about motorcycle safety and want to encourage everyone to take all reasonable measures to preserve their safety while having fun. We’ve handled motorcycle accident cases and have seen first-hand what a devastating injury looks like. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, despite all efforts to stay safe, you might qualify for a legal remedy for your injuries. To determine the merits of your case, you should consult one of our skilled attorneys for legal advice.
Call Politis & Matovina, P.A. at (386) 333-6613 to schedule a free consultation regarding your legal rights and options today.