As I am writing this article I am thinking of the recent accident involving the Pittsburg Steelers star quarterback, “Big Ben” Roethlisberger. If he had been wearing a helmet his injuries would not have been nearly as severe.
For most of us bikers a helmet just doesn’t fit our perception of what biking is all about, which is freedom! I mean, hey it just doesn’t look cool to be on a hog with that little sissy helmet. But, I think it looks way less cool to have your face all scarred up from sliding on it down the road!
According to statistics almost every crash where the rider wasn’t wearing a helmet resulted in a major head injury. In one study out of 900 crashes there were 980 head and neck injuries which seems to indicate that the passengers on many of these motorcycles were not wearing helmets either.
Our neighbors to the north in Canada have now made it illegal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet due to the large percentage of fatalities in accidents in which the rider was not wearing one. Of course in the United States, like many other laws it is left up to the individual states to decide the ruling. I know where I live in Florida they repealed the helmet law a few years ago and according to an EMT buddy of mine it has caused a dramatic increase in head injuries.
If you value your brain and your life you should be responsible enough to wear a helmet. Some of the factors that you should consider when buying a motorcycle helmet are below.
All motorcycle helmets consist of two main parts, an inner shell or liner which is made of impact reducing foam and an outer shell which is made to absorb the initial impact and protect your head as well as take all of the damage that the road or other hard object would have done to your head.
When buying a motorcycle helmet you should be sure that it has been approved by the Department of Transportation. If the helmet has been approved it will have a sticker from the government agency stating so. Another sticker that is recognized all over the world is from the Snell Memorial Foundation.
Another thing that is hugely important is making sure that the motorcycle helmet you buy fits properly. You need to make sure that it doesn’t fit too loose or too tight. When you take it off there should be no marks on your face from the pressure of the helmet, if so the helmet is too tight.
You also want to be sure that it doesn’t wobble around or come off easily. If you are in an accident and the helmet comes off at first impact you may be bouncing down the road on your head!