Of all drivers on the road, motorcyclists are the most unguarded and vulnerable to accidents, injuries and death. Although motorcycle drivers make up only 1% of road traffic, they account for almost 20% of all the deaths and life-threatening injuries incurred on the roads.
In a study of motorcycle accidents across Europe, it was found that an additional 1,000 lives would be saved each year by not only wearing helmets, but wearing ones that fit properly and meet general safety requirements. Wearing a motorcycle helmet is required by law in the UK, but it also can save your life. When choosing a helmet, here are the things you need to know.
Choosing the Right Fit
When choosing a motorcycle helmet, a good fit is the single most important requirement. An ill fitting helmet may not stay on your head in an accident, therefore can not fully protect you.
Each year, 12% of motorcycle helmets are lost during impact in road accidents. Wearing a helmet that fits your head correctly will help you avoid such statistics, and the injuries and deaths that resulted because of them.
A motorcycle helmet should never be too tight or too big, and should sit on your head snug and comfortable.
– Safety Labels
All helmets should include safety labels that clearly state the safety certifications they received in crash testing. Ideally your helmet should be both SNELL and DOT certified, although a helmet that is only DOT certified can also be worn.
Not all helmets come with anti-fog and anti-scratch visors. You don’t want to drive in the UK without an anti-fog visor. If it doesn’t come standard with your helmet, they can be purchased separately.
Meeting UK Safety Helmet Standards
All motorcycle helmets are required to meet strict government safety regulations. For your helmet to be in accordance with the law, this is what you need to know:
1. The helmet should clearly state that it meets or exceeds British Standard 6658: 1985 or ECE Regulation 22.05 standards.
2. You should never wear a second hand helmet or one that has been involved in a collision, no matter how minor.
3. SHARP is a government sponsored helmet safety scheme that can help you get the right fit, as well as help you choose a helmet that meets and exceeds safety regulations.
Types of Motorcycle Helmets
There are three main types of motorcycle helmets you can choose from. These vary in the protection they offer, and it is recommended that you purchase a helmet for safety over aesthetic factors.
– Full face Helmet
This helmet provides the most protection for the rider. A full face helmet covers the majority of the face, and has a moveable screen which protects your eyes when used. This type of helmet provides the most protection.
– Shorty Helmet
A shorty helmet, sometimes referred to as a half helmet, provides the least amount of protection for your head. In addition, there is no visor to protect your face from debris and insects. Motorcyclists often choose the shorty helmet for the widened view, less bulky fit, and because they are stylish.
– Open-Face Helmet
Similar to the full face helmet, the open face helmet offers full protection for your head. This type of helmet does not cover the face, and goggles or a snap-on screen is recommended.
Choosing a motorcycle helmet is one of the most important decisions you can make when it comes to your motorcycle. Finding a helmet that fits you correctly and abides by current government safety criteria will increase your chances of surviving in an accident. Be smart, wear a helmet, and enjoy the ride.