A Beginners Guide to Motorcycle Helmet Safety

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Whether you’re a new rider or just someone who hasn’t been in the saddle for a while, you probably know how important helmet safety is when riding. Motorcycle accidents can and do happen to even the most cautious of riders; however, these mishaps can almost always be avoided by wearing the right protective gear. In this post we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about motorcycle helmet safety including some common questions such as “Do I need a DOT approved helmet?”, “What is an SNELL rating?”, and “What is a visor vs goggles?” Let’s get started!

What is a DOT Approved Helmet?

As always, our first point of discussion begins with what a DOT approved helmet is. The abbreviation DOT is often used to refer to the Department of Transportation, which is responsible for making sure that all cars on the road are compliant with certain safety standards. What does DOT have to do with helmets you ask? Well, DOT is actually abbreviated from the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 218. This standard is used to ensure that all helmets used for motorcycle riding are safe for use in the event of a crash. If your helmet supplier has a DOT number on their helmets, then it means that their helmets have been certified as compliant with this standard.

SNELL Rating

A SNELL rating is a safety certification that is given to motorcycle helmets. It is a voluntary industry standard that is based on helmets that meet specific safety criteria. It is important to note that a DOT rating is not a certification of safety. What’s the difference between a DOT approved helmet and a SNELL certified helmet? Well, the DOT standard is a set of minimum safety requirements that helmets need to meet in order to be used on public roadways. Meanwhile, a SNELL rating is a voluntary standard that goes above and beyond the minimum DOT requirements by testing helmets under more severe conditions using dummies on a controlled crash cart. Unfortunately, there is no single standard when it comes to SNELL certification. This means that there is no “SNELL certified” stamp that helmet manufacturers can put on their helmets to let you know that they meet the requirement. SNELL testing is done by independent laboratories, and each laboratory can use a different testing protocol. As a result, there is no way for consumers to easily determine if a helmet has been SNELL tested. Nevertheless, helmet manufacturers can voluntarily place a sticker on their helmets that says “meets SNELL standards” if their helmets have been certified. This is the only way for consumers to know for sure if a helmet has been SNELL certified.

Motorcycle Goggles Vs. Visor

Goggles vs visor - we’ve all heard the endless debate on the subject. So what’s the verdict? Well, it really all comes down to personal preference. Goggles are widely used by motorcyclists as a protective eyewear. They fit around the face covering the eyes, nose, and mouth. They are often made of a soft plastic that can be squished or bent out-of-the-way in the event of a crash. They are typically made of a thicker plastic than ordinary eyeglasses, making them a great choice for dealing with the wind and dust that comes along with riding a bike. A visor, on the other hand, is a piece of plastic in front of your eyes that is attached to a helmet. It is generally thinner, flimsier and less protective than goggles. Some riders prefer the visor as it keeps their eyes open and focused on the road ahead.

What Is Face Protection?

Face protection is an important part of helmet safety. Face protection refers to all parts of your helmet that touch your face, including the chin strap, padding, visor, and mouth guard. Facial protection is especially important if you have been involved in a motorcycle accident recently. A recent motorcycle accident can cause wounds to your face that are hard to heal properly. In some cases, the wounds might even lead to disfiguration or scarring. By wearing a helmet that offers face protection, you can reduce your risk of facial injuries and scarring by up to 50%. No matter which type of helmet you choose, the most important thing is to ensure that it properly fits your face.

When Can I Trade In My Old Helmet?

A common question that has been posed to us time and time again is “when can I trade in my old helmet?”. Unfortunately, there is no exact amount of years that you can ride with the same helmet and be certain that it has not reached its expiration date. What you can do, however, is pay close attention to the signs that your helmet is wearing down. If it has become brittle, has cracked, or if the colour has faded, then it is time to replace it. Your helmet is the most important piece of gear that you will wear while riding a motorcycle. If you want to protect yourself in the event of an accident, then you need to make sure that your helmet is still in good condition.

How to Buy a New Helmet With Safety in Mind

For all intents and purposes, this entire article has been leading up to this moment. We’re about to tackle the big question, “how do I buy a new helmet with safety in mind?” Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this question. Each rider has different needs and different budgets, so there is no one helmet that will suit all riders. Be sure you consider your riding style when shopping for a helmet. If you frequently ride on the highway, you will probably want to purchase a helmet that is designed to reduce the amount of wind noise you experience. On the other hand, if you mostly ride in city environments, you may want to consider purchasing a lighter helmet. In addition to your riding style, you also need to consider your head shape and size.

Final Words

First and foremost, never skimp on safety gear. Motorcycle helmets are something that you should never be cheap with. They are one of the most important pieces of gear that you can wear when riding, and they can often be the difference between life and death. To review, a DOT approved helmet is one that is certified safe for use on public roadways. A SNELL rating is a voluntary standard that goes above and beyond the minimum DOT requirements by testing helmets under more severe conditions using dummies on a controlled crash cart. Beginners should take special care to choose a helmet that fits correctly and is in good condition. This will help to ensure that you keep your head protected in the event of an accident.

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