Is Your Motorcycle Helmet Keeping You Safe?

by Carmen Dellutri on July 13, 2012

Sarasota personal injury attorneyAs Cape Coral injury attorneys, we know that motorcycle helmets are often the single best defense against a serious motorcycle injury. In fact, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that helmets saved 1,829 motorcyclists’ lives in 2008, and that 823 more could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.

However, it is important for motorcyclists to understand that not all helmets are the same. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that all motorcycle helmets sold in the United States to meet a federal standard that defines minimum levels of performance that helmets must meet to protect the head and brain in the event of a crash. However, not all helmets are compliant.

For example, the NHTSA recently issued an alert regarding 5X5 brand, SA-08 model motorcycle helmet because it fails to meet federal requirements. Alarmingly, both the outer shell and the inner liner in three out of four helmets were penetrated in safety tests. Because they may fail to protect riders from a serious head injury, motorcyclists are advised to stop wearing these helmets immediately.

To make sure that your helmet meets federal safety requirements, below are a few additional tips from the NHTSA:

  • Helmets that meet federal safety standards must have
a sticker on the outside back of the helmet with the letters “DOT,” which certifies that the helmet meets or exceeds FMVSS 218. It is important to note that some novelty helmet sellers provide DOT stickers separately for motorcyclists to place on non-complying helmets. In this case, the DOT sticker is invalid and does not certify compliance
  • Helmets meeting the minimum Federal safety standard have an inner liner usually about one-inch thick of firm polystyrene foam. Sometimes the inner liner will not be visible, but you should still be able to feel its thickness. Unsafe helmets normally contain only soft foam padding or a bare plastic shell with no padding at all.
  • Depending on design, unsafe helmets weigh only one pound or less. Helmets meeting FMVSS 218 generally weigh about three pounds.
  • The federal safety standard does not allow anything to extend further than two-tenths
of an inch from the surface of a helmet. For example, while visor fasteners are allowed, a spike or other protruding decorations indicate an unsafe helmet.

For more on motorcycle helmet safety, please see our previous posts.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Cape Coral accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Cape Coral injury attorneys for a free consultation.

 

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