Motorcycle Helmet Safety

Motorcycle Helmet Safety

Motorcycle Helmet Safety: Why Wear a Motorcycle Helmet?

Before getting on a motorcycle, it is very important that you grab a helmet. A helmet could save your brain. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), helmets are about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries, and 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths. Just by wearing a helmet, riders can reduce their risk of suffering a fatal injury by one-third.

Motorcycle Helmet Safety: How Motorcycle Helmets Work

Motorcycle helmets have been specifically designed for motorcycle use. Helmets intended for other activities are not interchangeable. Newer motorcycle helmets, with updated materials and design, provide the most protection to riders. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) helmet effectiveness has increased 8 percent since 1987. As stated by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, motorcycle helmets are composed of four different layers, which together provide maximum protection:

  • Outer shell: Disperses energy from the impact to lessen the force before it reaches your head.
  • Impact-absorbing liner: This layer cushions and absorbs shock as the helmet stops and your head wants to keep on moving.
  • Comfort padding: Keeps you comfortable, and makes sure the helmet fits snug.
  • Retention system (chin strap): Keeps the helmet in place during a crash.

Motorcycle Helmet Safety: Who Wears Motorcycle Helmets?

Different states have various motorcycle helmet laws, dependent on the age of the rider and motorcycle power ranges. 19 states require all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet at all times, California being one of them. These laws are very effective, as the rate of helmet use is almost at 100 percent when states require all riders to wear helmets. In states where law only applies to some riders or there is no law at all, helmet usage is about 50 percent. Whether your state requires all riders to wear helmets or not, riders of all ages should wear helmets for their own protection.

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  1. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Motorcycles – Fatality Facts. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  2. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Motorcycles – State Laws. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  3. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Motorcycles – Q&A’s. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  4. Motorcycle Safety Foundation. What You Should Know About Motorcycle Helmets. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  5. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Motorcycle Helmet Effectiveness Revisited. Retrieved December 17, 2104.