There’s a lot of controversy surrounding whether or not motorcyclists should be required by law to wear helmets. But, the truth remains: helmets do keep riders safer in the event of a crash. But, only if the rider is wearing one that fits the right way.
Once you make the decision to buy and wear a helmet each and every time you hit the road on your bike, there’s a lot for you to consider in order to choose the right motorcycle helmet for you; its style, its ability to keep you safe, not to mention its comfort and weight.
The first step to choosing the perfect helmet for you is to pick a basic style. While there may be a lot of trendy styles available these days, the three most basic styles recommended include: the full face helmet, which gives you the most protection, but is also the heaviest; the three-quarter face helmet, which is much lighter and more versatile, but basically just as safe and the half face. Lastly, there is the half face or beanie helmet style, which offers minimal protection and is not recommended by most safety experts.
Next, look at safety standard requirements and how the helmet you choose fits into them. Any helmet you choose to wear should at least meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (DOT) (FMVSS) 218 standards, but if you want the best helmet for safety, pick one that features both the DOT and the Snell Foundation protection approval, since Snell requires helmets featuring their approval to undergo even more stringent safety tests.
Thirdly, consider fit and comfort. After all, if you aren’t comfortable wearing your helmet, the odds are you won’t! And that can be dangerous! So, what should you look for in proper fit and comfort? First, check its snugness. Any helmet you choose to wear must be able to twist or lift with the wind while the liner remains pressing gently but firmly against your cheeks and forehead. But, make sure it doesn’t leave any red marks on your face or head – that means it’s too tight! An easy way to fix tightness is to take out some of the Styrofoam filler inside the helmet. Next, be sure that your ears are free from contact.
Finally, consider the construction of your helmet. Most helmets are made of fiberglass or Kevlar, which is preferred since it is stronger and lighter than fiberglass and can mean better comfort and reduced risk of injuries in the event of an accident. However, it is a much more expensive material.
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