Despite the fun and freedom of riding a motorcycle, it is also associated with many risks. Motorists are often careless around motorcycles, which can lead to severe injuries or even loss of life.
While drivers must watch for motorcycles and conduct themselves properly on the road, you can also protect yourself by wearing the right helmet. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explains what to look for when purchasing a helmet.
Department of Transportation (DOT) certification label
Helmets that meet the current federal safety standards receive DOT labels. Unsafe helmets that do not meet these standards will not bear a DOT label. This includes certain novelty helmets, which are not constructed to offer sufficient protection.
The right size for your head
A helmet should be snug on your head, but not so tight that it causes discomfort. Measure your head before shopping to compare its size to helmet sizing charts. Place the cloth tape above your eyebrows and wrap it around the widest part of your head. Always try on a helmet before buying to ensure you have the right size.
The right shape for your head
Determining head shape is equally important. Helmet shapes include round oval, long oval, and intermediate oval head shapes. To determine yours, bend down and allow a friend to look at the top of your head. You can also bend at the waist towards a mirror and snap a picture using a mobile device. Keep in mind that intermediate oval is the most common head shape when it comes to motorcycle helmets.
Once you find a reliable helmet, you must wear it every time you ride your bike. There is no telling when an accident might occur, even if you take pains to be a safe and responsible motorcyclist.