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Here are a few helmet safety tips...

This is a discussion on Here are a few helmet safety tips... within the Motorcycle Safety forums, part of the General category; I'm new, so I thought I'd share a few Safety Tips: Helmet Safety Standards A real must in choosing a ...


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Old 04-03-2006   #1
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Default Here are a few helmet safety tips...

I'm new, so I thought I'd share a few Safety Tips:

Helmet Safety Standards

A real must in choosing a helmet is making certain that it lives up to the minimum safety standards. Price doesn't necessarily mean one helmet is better than another. It might just reflect hand processing versus a more mechanized manufacture. It may be that certain styling detail, paint jobs, or venting systems affect the cost. The way to find a well-made, reliable helmet is to look for the DOT or SNELL sticker on the inside or outside of the helmet. The sticker means the helmet lives up to the safety test standards of these agencies: U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and/or the Snell Memorial Foundation. The D.O.T. certification is required by United States law for all motorcycle helmets sold in the United States. Each organization has rigid procedures for testing:

* Impact: the shock-absorbing capacity of the helmet.
* Penetration: the helmet's ability to withstand a blow from a sharp object.
* Retention: the chin strap's ability to stay fastened without breaking or stretching.
* Peripheral vision: the helmet must provide a minimum side vision of 105° to each side. (Most people's usable peripheral vision is only about 90° to each side.)

Since 1980, ALL adult-sized helmets for on-highway use must meet DOT standards. Helmet dealers and distributors must ensure that all the helmets they sell bear the DOT sticker. Whatever your helmet choice, be sure it has this certification. You don't want an inferior helmet or one designed for another purpose. If someone tries to sell you one without it, don't buy it. If you have one without it, the helmet is probably so old it should be replaced anyway.

Snell has been testing helmets since the 1950’s. The use of Snell standards by helmet manufacturers is voluntary, unlike DOT standards. Snell testing is of high quality and is revised as helmet design and technology improve.

Both agencies attempt to reproduce under test conditions, the situations that are hazardous to motorcyclists. Their testing methods differ, but the intent is the same; to make certain any helmet they approve has life-saving, shock-absorbing minimums.

Since head injuries account for a majority of motorcycle fatalities, head protection is vital. Even the best helmet is no guarantee against injury. However, without a helmet you are five times more likely to have serious head injuries than a helmeted rider.
Getting the Right Fit

There's more to fitting a helmet than just buying one that matches your hat size or guessing at "small, medium or large." Your hat size is a good starting point, however. If you don't know your hat size, measure your head at its largest circumference - usually just above your eyebrows in front, over your ears and around in back. Try it several times so you know you've gotten the largest number. Some helmets are simply marked as S, M, L or XL. Unfortunately, marked helmet sizes vary just like shoe sizes. The only way to get a proper fit is to try them on.
Trying on Your Helmet

Hold it by the chin straps. The bottom of the helmet should face you with the front pointing down. Put your thumbs on the inside of the straps, balancing the helmet with your fingertips. Spread the sides of the helmet apart slightly and slip it down over your head.

The helmet should fit snugly and may even feel a bit too tight until it's in place correctly. Be sure it sits squarely on your head. It shouldn't sit tilted back on your head like a hat. Remember, if your helmet is too large, several things happen. It will move around and up and down on your head when you least want it to. It can be very annoying to wear because it's noisy and lets in wind. And, in the event of an accident, it may come off!

Once the helmet is on your head, make a few other fit checks before fastening the chin strap:

1. The cheek pads should touch your cheeks without pressing uncomfortably.
2. There should be no gaps between your temples and the brow pads.
3. If the helmet has a neck roll, it shouldn't push the helmet away from the back of your neck.
4. On full-coverage helmets, press on the chin piece. The helmet or face shield should not touch your nose or chin. If it does, it will surely do so at speed from wind pressure.

With the helmet still on and the straps securely fastened, move it from side to side and up and down with your hands. If it fits right, your scalp should move as the helmet is moved. You should feel as if a slight, even pressure is being exerted all over your head by the helmet. Remember too that a helmet loosens up a bit as the comfort liner compresses through use. So a new one should be as tight as you can comfortably wear it.

Now, with the chin strap still securely fastened and your head straight, try rolling the helmet forward off your head. You shouldn't be able to pull it off. If you can, the helmet is too big.

Take off the helmet. Does your head feel sore anywhere? Are there any red spots on your forehead? Pressure points can be uncomfortable and can cause a headache after a long ride, so be sure your helmet isn't causing any. If it is, choose the next largest size or try a different brand of helmet. Human heads are not all the same shape; neither are helmets.

If you are still unsure about the helmet's fit, wear it around the store for awhile to see if it remains comfortable. A helmet is an important investment, no matter what its price. Be sure the one you choose is right for you.
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Old 04-04-2006   #2
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Default Here are a few helmet safety tips...

However, without a helmet you are five times more likely to have serious head injuries than a helmeted rider.


Not sure why this keeps on making the rounds. It was a research piece that never took into account the number of new riders that were entering into riding at that time, and DID NOT take into account trained vs. untrained riders. It took a gross number against another gross number and made a conclusion. Since then, more comprehensive studies have shown that fatalities and serious head injuries are more a function of where the accident takes place, and the skill of the rider, rather than of what kind of protection the rider was using at the time.

Although wearing more protection can protect you more, it DOES NOT guarantee anything (a tragic example would be Dale Earnhart(sp)(RIP)).


A helmet is an important investment, no matter what its price. Be sure the one you choose is right for you.

Truer words were never spoken. In this game, one size DEFINITELY does not fit all.
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Old 04-05-2006   #3
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Default Here are a few helmet safety tips...

One of the less obvious reasons I wear a helmet and gear is to give my family and friends some peace of mind if something were to happen to me. I'd hate for them to wonder "what if?" I hadn't been as protected as I should have been.
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Old 04-06-2006   #4
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Default Here are a few helmet safety tips...

One of the less obvious reasons I wear a helmet and gear is to give my family and friends some peace of mind if something were to happen to me. I'd hate for them to wonder "what if?" I hadn't been as protected as I should have been.

That's a good point, we owe at least that to our friends and family for the sake of taking part in something we love to do for entertainment.
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Old 04-07-2006   #5
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Default Here are a few helmet safety tips...

Wearing a helmet ia always safer than not wearing a helmet for any rider! As a 25 year veteran of a affluent suburban police dept. I have been involed with many accidents involving motorcycles and from my experience many more people wearing helmets survived in similar accidents than people without helmets.
As far as studies go, you show me a study showing one conclusion showing you one that concludes just the opposite. Common sense will tell you wearing a helmet is safer than not wearing one.:)

Ride Safe and Have Fun:D
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Old 04-07-2006   #6
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Default Here are a few helmet safety tips...

Not trying to be gratuitously argumentative here, but I believe 'always' would not be accurate.

There is no denying that, in cases where the rider is about to do a chinplant on pavement, a full-face helmet is going to save them some wear and tear. There is ALSO no denying that, in situations where the helmet has decreased the rider's peripheral vision, or is contributing to heat exhaustion (summer riding), there is more of a chance of them getting into an accident that they might not have gotten into in THE FIRST PLACE (something that is left out of those highly-touted studies as 'irrelevant').

As far as avoiding serious head injury, again there have been cases on both sides of that fence, where someone suffered an injury they wouldn't have otherwise had if they had/hadn't been wearing a helmet. Think it doesn't happen? Check out all the football injuries that take place because the helmet caught something on the way down, and broke the player's neck. It happens far more frequently than you might think.

I would ask folks to not be so quick on the judgmental side here. We're all after the same goal, after all.
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Old 04-08-2006   #7
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Default Here are a few helmet safety tips...

Well, when you add 4 pounds to your head, on a 150g impact, your head has an additional 600 pounds of momentum. So of course you are going to have more neck injuries and what not, but having that layer of foam around your dome and a shell around that, keep your skull from being split and pointy things out of your brain. If your peripheral vision is impeded by your helmet, you need a new one. I won't buy a helmet if it impedes my vision. So with mine, I can see as well beside me with the helmet as I can without it. And for riding in the summer, this is something I know about living in TX. When it's 110 degrees in the shade, and 125 on the street, you get HOT! A good helmet with good ventilation can keep you as cool, sometimes COOLER than no helmet at all! I like to squirt some water on my liner. When the wind hits it from the vents, it gets COLD! Very refreshing!!!!

And BTW, if you ride in high heat, wear a helmet in lite colors. Wearing a black helmet in 100+ degree summer weather is flat out STUPID.

I highly, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend THIS HELMET for riding in hot climates!!!!! http://www.webbikeworld.com/r2/motor...et/gmax/gm68s/

Personally, I think the dragon design looks dumb, I much prefer the crusader.

I have this one in blue white..... http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com...er-Helmet.aspx

And I'll tell you what, I like it better than any Shoei, Arai, or anything else I have in the heat!

If you have an impact bad enough where the helmet couldn't help, or actually caused damage, it's unlikely that you would survive anyway just because of injuries to the rest of your body. If you have an injury index of 5 or more, your probably a goner anyway, regardless of whether or not you have a head/neck injury. Dead people don't care much about head and neck injuries.
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Old 04-08-2006   #8
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Default Here are a few helmet safety tips...

I agree with you on the 'severity of impact' statement. Oft times, when the head is separated from the body, or put under forces usually reserved by mother nature for making petroleum, there's not much made by man that'll make a difference.
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