A motorcycle helmet is essential to the safety of any motorcyclist. However, choosing the right type of helmet can be a challenge and many helmets only meet minimum safety requirements. Understanding what type of helmet is best for your riding style is fundamental to protecting yourself in the unfortunate event of an accident.
There are three safety certifications that your helmet should have – DOT, ECE, and SNELL. While DOT and ECE cover the bare minimum safety requirements of a helmet, SNELL has a much higher safety standard that offers optimal protection. It is important to buy a helmet that is certified by all three safety standards.
Full-face helmets offer the most protection in a crash. Because your entire head is covered, the helmet prevents every part of your face from hitting against the ground. However, full-face helmets often weigh more than other helmets and can cause strain to your neck if worn too long. Additionally, limited ventilation can cause overheating on hot days. Ultimately, this helmet is good for most purposes and bikes.
Open-face helmet (3/4th helmet)
These helmets offer protection everywhere except the face. While most come with flip down shields that offer protection from debris and weather, some open-face helmets do not offer any protection to the face.
However, these helmets allow for unobstructed visibility that lets you see as far and as clearly as possible. Open-face helmets are for riders who enjoy the feel of wind on their face while riding.
Modular helmets are a combination of the two helmets above with a face mask that can be flipped up to become an open-face helmet. These helmets are safer than open-face helmets, but not as safe as full-face helmets. However, their versatility enables riders to eat, look at a map, or talk to a friend without removing the helmet.
Because they do not provide the security of full-face helmets, modular helmets are best used for low speed casual riding.
Half helmets provide coverage from the forehead to halfway down the back of the head. Because of their lack of coverage, half helmets are the least safe of any motorcycle helmet, and many are not SNELL certified. Half helmets are not recommended for motorcycle riding.
Duel-sport helmets are meant for road and off-road use. These helmets have an extended chin that protects your face in an accident and a sun peak that reduces blinding sunlight. Additionally, these helmets offer more ventilation, but are less soundproof, than full-face helmets. If you are looking for on-road and off-road riding, a duel-sport helmet is the best option.
Buying a motorcycle helmet that matches your riding needs is essential to being safe.
Additionally, a helmet that is DOT, ECE, and SNELL certified and fits properly provides the best protection in motorcycle accidents. However, even with the best protection, injuries can still be sustained through unsafe riding. Obeying riding laws and always being conscious of others is the best way to avoid motorcycle injuries.
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle collision, call my offices immediately. As your Ohio motorcycle accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 855.800.0384.