Motorcycle safety is of paramount importance, and one of the most critical pieces of protective gear a rider can invest in is their helmet. However, not all helmets protect you the same amount, and distinguishing between a safe and unsafe helmet is important.
When it comes to safeguarding your head on the open road, being able to identify the signs of an unsafe motorcycle helmet could mean the difference between life and death.
Loose or damaged straps
If the straps on your helmet are loose, frayed or damaged, the helmet is not likely to protect your skull. A secure and undamaged strap ensures that the helmet stays in place during a collision, minimizing the risk of head injuries.
Visible dents and cracks
Carefully examine the helmet’s outer shell for any visible dents, cracks or deformities. Even minor imperfections can weaken the helmet’s structural integrity, rendering it unsafe. Remember that a helmet’s primary purpose is to absorb impact forces, and any compromise in its shell can jeopardize your safety.
Getting a correctly-fitting and comfortable helmet is a major help. Not only does it help encourage people to wear helmets, especially since only 65% of American motorcyclists wear them as of 2020, but it also helps the helmet stay on in case of a crash.
The helmet should sit squarely on your head, covering your forehead and the back of your skull. If it shifts or moves when you shake your head, it may not provide the protection you need.
Helmets have evolved significantly over the years, with advances in technology and materials enhancing their safety features. Older helmets may lack the latest safety innovations, making them less effective in protecting you during a crash.
Lack of proper cushioning
Inside the helmet, the liner and padding play an important role in absorbing and dispersing impact forces. Check for any signs of deterioration or compression in the padding. If the helmet’s interior looks damaged or worn out, it may not provide the necessary protection.
Missing or damaged visor
The visor or face shield is another key component of a motorcycle helmet. Ensure it is clear, free from scratches and securely attached. A damaged or missing visor can hinder your vision while riding, increasing the risk of accidents.
Your motorcycle helmet is your first line of defense against head injuries. Checking your helmet’s fit before heading out can give you peace of mind while on the road.