No matter how skilled a rider you are, you must protect yourself when operating a motorcycle. This requires wearing a helmet at all times, even when traveling short distances.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the right helmet will fit snugly, but not be so tight that it causes discomfort. Here are a few key points to consider.
Determine your head shape
There are three general head shapes: round oval, long oval, and intermediate oval. Helmets are designed to suit different head shapes, which is why it is important to determine yours before buying. To check your head shape, bend down and have a friend stand over you to look at your head from above. You do not need to be exact, you just want a good idea of the approximate shape.
Choose a size
Along with head shape, head size is also important. When measuring your head, wrap a cloth measuring tape around the part of your head just above your eyebrows. Make sure it goes around the biggest part of the back of your head. Your measurement can then be compared to size charts, which are found at most motorcycle accessory stores.
Look at safety ratings
All helmets should display a DOT sticker somewhere on the outside. While helmets are not formerly approved, they are tested to ensure they offer the right protection for the rider. Any complaints about the quality of a product will also be taken into account when it comes to DOT labeling. Novelty helmets, such as those with spikes or other accessories, are not compliant to standards and therefore do not receive DOT labeling.
Wearing a helmet greatly reduces your risk of dying in a motorcycle crash. Remember, even skilled and responsible riders can experience a serious crash if they cross paths with a negligent driver.