Your motorcycle helmet should be right for you. It should be comfortable and not interfere with your riding experience.Recently, we posted an article about safety features in cars and how they protect occupants during an accident. I wanted to write an article about similar features in motorcycles. Unfortunately, the very nature of a motorcycle means that many of the safety features that exist on passenger vehicles can’t be transferred to motorcycles.

When you ride a motorcycle, it’s just you and the road. When you crash, there are no crumple zones to slow the impact. The only thing coming between you and the asphalt is your safety gear. That gear, especially your helmet, increases the chances of surviving a Wausau motorcycle accident by 37 percent.

All motorcycle helmets sold for road use in the United States must meet FMVSS 218 requirements set by the Department of Transportation. Helmets with a DOT sticker are designed to protect your head in 90 percent of impact types. Helmets are tested under conditions simulating a moderate impact up to 250 times the force of gravity (250g). DOT approved helmets are designed to absorb rather than resist the force of an impact.

Some helmets have an additional sticker from the Snell Memorial Foundation. This means that the product passed additional testing and meets Snell Foundation helmet standards. These standards are not mandatory and some researchers believe that they don’t make the helmets safer.

Traditionally, Snell helmets (M2005) are shock resistant (instead of absorbent) and are tested under situations that would result in a serious head injury (up to 300g). However, Snell helmets meeting the new M2010 standard are built to be better at absorbing shock, although only rated to 275g. Most helmets that pass M2010 will also pass DOT and European (ECE R22-05) standards.

No one helmet is perfect for every rider. The right helmet for you will depend on your riding style and body type. More importantly, it will be comfortable and not interfere with your riding experience.

The motorcycle accident attorneys at Hupy and Abraham fight for the rights of motorcyclists. If you were injured in a motorcycle crash, request a free copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, or contact our office at 800-800-5678 to obtain your FREE riders' Rights Card and FREE "Watch for Motorcycles" Sticker.

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.