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A good helmet can save your life in a motorcycle crash

Wearing a helmet when you're on any open-air vehicle is common sense. No matter how carefully you drive, there's always the potential for someone else to overlook you on your motorcycle, causing a catastrophic crash. Even if you don't personally enjoy wearing a helmet when on your bike, in California, anyone who operates or rides on a motorcycle must wear one under state law. Those who drive motorcycles can receive a ticket if they or their passengers are not wearing helmets.

Instead of considering a helmet a frustrating legal requirement, you should view it as what it really is, a critical piece of safety gear. Buying a helmet is a means of protecting yourself and expressing yourself, as they come in many sizes, styles and colors.

You want a helmet that fits you securely and snugly, as a good fit improves the protection provided. You also want to wear a helmet that looks good, feels good and offers protection against injury to your head, skull, brain and face in the event of a motorcycle crash, slide or collision.

Understanding what makes up a good helmet

Not all motorcycle helmets offer the same degrees of protection in a crash or collision. Thankfully, there are minimum standards for helmets approved by the United States Department of Transportation. Helmets that meet these requirements usually have a DoT sticker affixed, but that can wear off over time.

The requirements for an adequate helmet include an inner liner that is at least an inch thick, made from polystyrene foam, chin straps held firmly in place by rivets that are at least an inch thick, enough weight to protect the skull (at least three pounds) and sound structural design, with no one element protruding more than 2/10s of an inch from the outer shell. A helmet that meets this criteria is more likely to keep your head and brain safe if you crash.

Staying safe on your motorcycle should be priority number one

Although motorcycle fatalities are on the decline compared to rates in the 1970s and 1980s, they have been on the increase in recent years. A rise in the popularly of motorcycles, as well as increased overall traffic may contribute to the increase in deaths.

Head injuries are a primary cause of deaths and permanent disability among those who enjoy these fast and fun modes of transportation. A serious head injury can result in a traumatic brain injury, which could impact your memory, your personality, your motor skills and even your ability to care for yourself and keep a job. Protecting your brain is always a wise decision when you're on the road.

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