Plain and simple, wearing a motorcycle helmet can keep you alive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,630 motorcyclists in 2013. If all motorcyclists had worn helmets, an additional 715 lives could have been saved.”
While it’s currently not against the law to ride without a helmet in Florida, it’s also not against the law to swim in shark infested waters, but we would advise against that as well.
Here’s what you need to know about motorcycle helmets to keep you as safe as possible on your bike.
The Difference between DOT Certified Helmets and Novelty Helmets
It’s important to note that not all helmets are created equal. There are standards set forth by Department of Transportation (DOT) that helmets must meet a minimum performance requirement. However, there are novelty helmets that these requirements do not apply to and it’s important to be able to recognize the difference.
The easiest way to identify a DOT-approved helmet is to look for a DOT sticker or painted symbol, typically located on the back of the helmet. However, there are some unscrupulous dealers in the world who will put a fake DOT sticker on novelty helmets.
Here are some things to look for to make sure a helmet is legitimately DOT-certified:
• Labeling – The DOT requires label indicating the manufacturer, model number, size, and construction material. A missing label is a dead giveaway that a helmet is not DOT-approved.
• Weight – DOT-approved helmets typically weigh at least three pounds. Be wary of helmets that feel lighter than this.
• Lining – DOT-approved helmets are required to have an inner liner that is at least one inch thick. Check the padding and make you can feel a firm, thick lining.
• Design – Helmets that have protrusions that extend more than 0.2 inches from the helmet will not meet DOT standards. These are always novelty helmets and should not be relied upon for safety.
Lifespan and Wear and Tear of Helmets
Helmets don’t last forever. As a general rule, helmets have a lifespan of around five years. Helmets older than this should be retired.
Also, helmets are designed to be a one-use item. This means that any impact with your head inside the helmet will most likely have degraded its performance, even if there are no visible signs of damage. If a helmet has been involved in an impact, it’s best to replace it.
Have You Been Affected by a Motorcycle Accident?
If you or a loved one has been affected by a motorcycle accident where another driver was at fault, contact Hancock Law Firm today. We are here to help our clients receive the compensation they deserve. Contact us online or call us at 813-915-1110 now to schedule your free consultation with an accident attorney.