Motorcycle helmets aim to give 100% protection to your head and brain, especially when going for a ride on your motorcycle. These vehicles are more prone to accidents especially because they are small and fast and are easily overlooked by motorists in big, covered vehicles.
The driver of a motorcycle is also prone to getting hurt more than a person in a car because the driver can be thrown off the bike in case of collisions. As dire as it sounds, the body can be seriously damaged upon impact because it is very open and vulnerable.
Therefore, having protection on the head as well as additional protection on the body (such as pads) are important before embarking on a long journey while on a motorcycle. However, not all that you can buy from stores can give you the utmost protection. You really need to check them out and look for seals that tell you they have been tested to protect against high impact and shock.
How do you know that a motorcycle helmet is safe enough?
Helmets save lives. However, it won’t provide you enough protection if it is not proven to do so. New helmets released by manufacturers are sent to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to be checked and tested to see if these helmets are capable to protect your head in case of different levels of impact.
The checking of all motorcycle helmets in the US is mandatory as it determines whether helmets being sold meet the federal safety standard. Not only is it illegal to not wear a helmet before riding your motorcycle but in some states, it is also illegal to wear a helmet that did not meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218 requirements.
To make your search for the safest motorcycle helmet, first you need to check the packaging of the motorcycle helmet and look for a DOT sticker. The letters DOT should be strategically placed on the outside back of the helmet where you can easily see it.
Bear in mind that DOT stickers sold separately that can be applied onto a non-complying helmet is considered illegal. You are not only breaking the law for doing such action, but you are also putting your life in jeopardy in case of an accident. The original DOT labels are permanently placed on the helmet and they can’t be removed by hand. If a sticker falls off the helmet, then it must not be DOT compliant.
The next thing that you should check is the inside of the motorcycle helmet where you can find a Snell label, which is a symbol that it met the set of standards of this private organization. This is a good indicator that the helmet really meets the federal safety standard.
Also found inside the helmet is the manufacturer’s labeling composed of name, model, size, month and year of manufacture, construction materials, and owner information. These labeling is required by the FMVSS 218. Other components of a safe motorcycle helmet should be a thick inner lining, about one inch thick polystyrene foam, sturdy chin strap, and solid rivets.
Another indicator that tells you that the helmet is safe is the weight of the helmet. You can’t possibly trust a very lightweight helmet to protect your head upon impact, can you? Depending on the design, the usual weight of a good, safe helmet is about three pounds. When lifted, they should feel more substantial. By the weight itself, you should be able to know that it can protect your head when needed.
Key Takeaway: Watch out for helmets with fake DOT stickers and labels. More often than not, you can come up with the conclusion that a helmet is unsafe based on the materials used, the price, and the place where you bought it. Be wary against stores selling very cheap knock-off items. Also ensure to carefully eye each part of the helmet to know if the materials used are sturdy and strong enough.
What are the safest motorcycle helmets?
To narrow down your search we have listed some helmets below that are all DOT approved:
DOT Approved Motorcycle Helmet 3/4 Open Face Matte White Star Retro Vintage EVOS Sport Street Bike Cruiser Scooter Snowmobile ATV Helmet – Small
- Full Face Helmet. DOT Approved
- Advanced ABS shell with high pressure thermoplastic technology.
- Multi Density EPS liner.
This DOT certified helmet is open-faced and comes in a really cute design in matte white. It has a dual smoke and sun visor.
The visors are anti-scratch, anti-fog, and wide clear view. The helmet comes with a lightweight, soft, and washable liner. There is also built-in ventilation system for optimum circulation.
MATTE BLACK DUAL VISOR MODULAR MOTORCYCLE HELMET DOT (Medium)
- IV2 Most Advanced Modular Dual Visor Adult Helmet
- One button, one-hand Flip-up Sytem Converts helmet from Full-face to Open-face
- Glove-friendly and waterproof controls
This safe, DOT certified helmet has a one-push button flip up system that instantly converts the helmet from full-face to open face. The helmet is lined with impact absorption inner liner that is also sweat absorbing. It is fully removable and washable too.
The anti-scratch visor comes with an advanced ventilation system. The dual d-string strap is supported by durable stainless steel. The helmet comes in black matte finish and the irremovable DOT Safety Standard is stamped behind it.
PGR B31 Motorcycle Half Shorty Helmet DOT APPROVED Chopper Cruiser Harley HD Custom (XL, Gloss Black)
- Classic Style Half Helmet ( Shorty, Skid Lid, Skull Cap )
- High Quality Paint Finish ( UV Protection )
- LOW PROFILE Thermoplastic Shell
This DOT certified half-helmet is perfect for riding the scooter, Harley, Chopper and Cruiser. It is pretty lightweight but is still able to give full protection to your head.
The interior is soft and comfortable and is able to bring in more air for circulation. A belt button for additional safety holds the double d-ring retention system together.
Whatever type of motorcycle helmet you pick, be it full helm or half helm, and for whatever purpose you intend to use it, make sure to get one that will provide full protection to your head. The safest motorcycle helmets are tested first before they get a sticker of approval coming from DOT, which is your key in finding the best one.
Before purchasing any motorcycle helmets, make sure that the DOT sticker is secured and that it is genuine.