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Motorcycle helmet requirements: what should you look for? (PART 2)

Today we continue our discussion about motorcycle helmet requirements. All riders are required to wear a helmet that meets federal standards in the state of New York, no matter their experience level or their age.

With that being said, let’s discuss a few things that riders should look for when buying a motorcycle helmet.

The design and style of the helmet is important when it comes to meeting FMVSS 218 standards. Most full-face designs will meet DOT requirements. Helmets cannot have anything protruding more than two-tenths of an inch from the helmet. This means no spikes or decorations should be sticking out of the helmet. Skullcap type helmets and some German Army styles are usually not safe. Most unsafe helmets will be noticeably thinner and smaller than the DOT requires.

The DOT requires that helmets have about a one-inch thickness of firm polystyrene foam inside the helmet. Unsafe helmets may have no padding at all or may have only soft foam. The weight of the helmet is also important. The typical helmet that meets regulations will weigh about three pounds.

Finally, the helmet must have strong rivets and a sturdy chin strap. Also look for a manufacturer’s label inside the helmet that indicates the model, size, manufacturer’s name, owner’s information, the month and year the helmet was manufactured, and construction details. Besides that, as we mentioned previously, look for the required DOT sticker.

Keep in mind, although you may not want to wear a motorcycle helmet for various reasons, it’s important to remember that those who do not wear a helmet while riding are three times more likely to suffer a brain injury in a crash than those who wear a helmet. That statistic alone should be a strong reason to wear one. While you may be an experienced rider who knows how to avoid accidents, you can never predict what other drivers on the road will do. Negligent behavior is oftentimes impossible to foresee.

Related Posts: Debunking common myths related to motorcycle safety, Common causes of motorcycle accidents: Part 1, Does a helmet help in a motorcycle accident?, Motorcyclists killed in New York accident

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