Helmets are one of the most valuable tools that can prevent severe head injuries that result from motorcycle collisions. However, motorcyclists over the age of 18 in Colorado do not have to wear motorcycle helmets if they choose not to. Even so, we strongly recommend that every motorcyclist wear a DOT-approved helmet in order to remain as safe as possible on the roadways. Here, we want to discuss some of the features that the safest motorcycle helmets have.
Choosing Your Helmet Based on the Safety Features
We want to congratulate you on being a motorcyclist who understands the importance of wearing a helmet. However, we also want you to choose a helmet that works best for you while maintaining as much safety as possible.
- Half, three-quarters, or full-face. In general, all motorcycle safety experts will recommend that motorcyclists opt for a full-face helmet. This offers the most protection for a motorcyclist in the event an accident occurs.
- The weight. The average large full-face motorcycle helmet ways around 3.25 to 3.5 pounds. Some helmets may weigh a little bit less than this and some may be heavier, but a motorcyclist should find a DOT-approved helmet with a weight that is comfortable for them.
- Aerodynamic design. Motorcycle helmets should have an aerodynamic design that actually looks good. We understand that motorcyclists do not want to put on a helmet that looks gaudy. There are plenty of good aerodynamic motorcycle helmet designs that look stylish.
- Additions to the helmet. Some motorcyclists add additions such as spikes or designs to the outside of their helmets. However, any DOT-approved motorcycle helmet should be free from any external pieces that could get caught on something else and cause the helmet to function improperly if an accident occurs.
- MIPS Technology. Helmets with Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) use a slip-pane system that moves inside the helmet to mimic the brain’s protection system. This helps reduce rotational force to the brain caused by angled impacts to the head.
Making Sure the Helmet is DOT-Approved
The number one thing that motorcyclists need to know is whether or not the helmet they like is DOT-approved. Under no circumstances should any person wear a helmet that does not have the safety features set forth under the Department of Transportation standards. These standards are referred to as the FMV-218 rules, and they are in place to ensure that a helmet provides significant head protection in the event an accident occurs.
- The helmet must provide impact protection. This means that the helmet distributes the force of an impact with an object, and the DOT test requires the manufacturer to demonstrate a minimum level of impact resistance.
- The helmet must protect the head from sharp penetrating objects. In other words, the helmet has to prevent objects from penetrating through the helmet and getting to the head and brain.
- The helmet must have effective retention straps. This means that the straps have to be strong enough to not come off easily. Typically, this is measured by determining whether or not the straps will stretch beyond one inch under accident conditions and examining whether the clips and buckles stay in place.
- The helmet must provide adequate visibility. A good motorcycle accident helmet has to have a visor that provides 105-degree visibility from the central line. Typically, this is more peripheral vision than most individuals use, meaning the helmet will not create a blind spot for the motorcyclist.
As a consumer looking for a motorcycle helmet that is DOT-approved, you should look for a sticker that indicates the manufacturer, model name, and that the helmet is “DOT FMV-218 compliant.”
Contact our Denver motorcycle accident attorneys today.