Motorcycle helmets sold in the U.S. must meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. However, some helmets on the market fail to meet these standards, which may put motorcyclists like yourself at risk for serious injuries in the event of a crash.
Knowing what to look for when purchasing a motorcycle helmet may help you avoid novelty helmets and choose one safe for riding.
Check the inner liner
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, checking a motorcycle helmet’s liner may help you determine if it meets the safety standards. Novelty helmets may lack inner liners, have only soft foam padding or have liners less than three-quarters of an inch thick. Helmets that meet the minimum standards generally have expanded, stiff inner liners.
Examine the straps
You may also identify a helmet as safe or unsafe by looking at the chin strap and rivets. The lack of a sturdy chin strap and solid rivets may indicate a helmet does not meet the minimum safety standards. For example, the plastic buckles you might find on a novelty helmet may break during a crash, allowing your helmet to come loose and you to potentially suffer a serious head injury.
Test the weight
Feeling the weight of helmets may help you determine their safety. Helmets that meet the federal standards for safety typically weigh about three pounds. Novelty helmets, or less safe options, may weigh one pound or less.
If you suffer serious injuries in a motorcycle crash despite wearing a safe helmet, you may pursue legal action against the at-fault driver to recover compensation.