Posted on June 08, 2015 in Motorcycle Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently
issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking as the first step towards a rule that
would specifically help motorcyclists make informed choices while buying
The rule would address specific criteria that motorcyclists
need to consider when buying a helmet, and would help motorcyclists avoid novelty
helmets that do not protect against injuries. According to the NHTSA, wearing a
helmet can significantly help improve a person’s chances of surviving an
accident. Helmets that meet the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) safety
standards help prevent more than 1,000 fatalities in accidents every year.
Novelty helmets, however, do not meet those federal standards.
According to federal statistics, 56% of persons who were
involved in accidents while wearing a novelty helmet suffered serious head
injuries. In comparison, only 19% of persons who were involved in accidents
while wearing a DOT- certified helmet suffered serious head injuries. The Administration’s
rule would clearly define what helmets are considered “motorcycle helmets,” and
establish criteria to help motorcyclists easily differentiate between a DOT-certified
helmet, and an unsafe novelty helmet.
In the meantime, look for the “DOT –certified” sticker on
the helmet that you’re buying. A helmet that comes with a “DOT –certified” sticker
or “Snell” sticker will provide more protection to riders and passengers. The rel=”nofollow” >Snell Memorial Foundation conducts
independent testing on several motorcycle helmet models every year, and these
testing standards are even more stringent than the standards adopted by the
Department of Transportation.
Apart from federal testing guidelines, also consider whether
the helmet fits well. It must not be too snug or too loose. It must also be very
comfortable to wear. If you find the helmet too heavy, or find that it pinches you,
you’re likely to skip wearing it altogether, increasing your chances of a
serious head injury in an accident. A good quality helmet must be designed to
keep your scalp cool. Try out the helmet before you buy it.