If you ride a bike or a motorcycle you probably own and wear a helmet. What you probably don’t know is that in some cases you might as well just go with the baseball cap. That’s not because helmets aren’t worth it, it’s because not all helmets actually perform their intended function. A faulty helmet can result in permanent neck injuries, serious pain and suffering, and even death.

Here are a couple of things to look for to make sure that you’re not risking your life every time you get on your bike.

Check for Damage

The most common problem, both with motorcycle and bicycle helmets, is that people don’t replace used helmets. “Used”, in this case, means that it’s been through an accident of some kind. The lining on the inside of your helmet isn’t designed for multiple uses, and you’ll need to replace it once it’s been compressed. If you’re not the first owner of your helmet, check for scuff marks, and feel around the inside of the helmet. If you can see or feel any damage, it’s time to go and get a new helmet.

Avoid Odd Designs

An easy way to spot an unsafe helmet is to look for special designs. Department of Transportation safety standards dictate that nothing is allowed to protrude more than two tenths of an inch from the surface of the helmet, meaning basically anything other than a simple familiar round helmet is not compliant.

Check For Safety Compliance Labels for Motorcycles

Always check a helmet that you’re considering purchasing for compliance stickers. These include the DOT (Department of Transportation) sticker that’s supposed to be attached to the outside back of the helmet, and the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) label. A safe helmet will have both the sticker and the label in addition to the manufacturer’s label inside the helmet, which should include the manufacturer’s name, the model number, and date of construction.

Sometimes helmets will have a counterfeit version of one label or the other, but so far there haven’t been any known incidents of novelty helmets that have both labels.

Make Sure Your Helmet Is Safely Constructed

Unfortunately there are a lot of scam helmets out on the market today. A good motorcycle helmet that complies with the Department of Transportation regulations should feel fairly heavy and will have approximately 1 inch thick polystyrene liner that feels firm to the touch. Unsafe counterfeit helmets will often just have a hard shell over some soft padding. While a bicycle helmet will be relatively light, it should also have rigid foam rather than soft padding on the inside.

Remember, just looking for the DOT sticker on a helmet is not enough, since some unsafe helmets will have counterfeit stickers attached to them to fool buyers. Always check the helmet yourself!

If you’ve been injured in a car accident please give us a call as soon as possible. We can connect you with local auto accident attorneys and medical professionals to ensure that you get the car accident settlement you deserve.

Category: Car Accidents