Side stepping the “freedom of choice” issue with helmet laws, let's talk a little about helmets. There are several type out there as I'm sure everyone is aware: Full-Face, Three-Quarter, Half, "Skid Lid" (aka "Brain Bucket"), Modular (aka. Flip-face), etc. The primary safety advantage of a Full-Face over any of the others (save the Flip-Face) is the additional coverage it provides for the chin and face.
The important item however is that something will provide more protection than nothing. This leads to another interesting point. If the helmet you wear is going to do you any good, it needs to stay on your head in an accident. That means the sizing of a helmet is extremely important.
When placed on your head and the strap is securely tightened, shake your head left and right (as if to say “no”) and up and down (as if to say “yes”). If you feel any slope in the helmet, i.e., your helmet and head don’t always move in the same direction at the same time, the helmet is too big. The helmet should move with your scalp and skin and not slide on them. (Note: if you have a flip face, you should try this with the helmet in both modes. The chin bar on some flip face helmets have been known to flip-up during accidents. You want to be sure it will not come off in either configuration.)
With the helmet still fastened on your head, grab the back of the helmet at the base and lift the back up and forward, attempting to roll the helmet off your head. You shouldn’t be able to roll the helmet off your head. If you can easily roll the helmet off your head, the helmet doesn’t fit you correctly and could come off during an accident.
Ok. Want to read some more about helmets? Take a look at this quiz from Motorcycle Cruiser.com. http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/accessoriesandgear/helmet_quiz/
This article by Motorcyclist caused quite the stir. It directly contradicts the common saying of "A $50 helmet for a $50 head." I found it to be rather insightful into the protection that helmets provide you and the differences between the DOT and SNELL testing standards (as well as the European ECE 22.05 standard) and the view that harder helmets are safer helmets.
For questions, comments, or suggestions on safety tips please contact Rob 'Throttle' Capozzi.
|Gloves||Eye Protection||What did you say?|
|Be seen||Counter Steering||Braking|
|Rear End Slides||Stopping and weight||Curves and braking|
|Railroad Crossings||Lane positioning||Watch your mirrors|
|The line of death||Where’s the sun?||Blind spots|
|Slick spots||Intersections||Green means (pause, pause) go|
|Check that attitude||Celullar Phones||Inspect your scoot before you ride|
|Check those tires||Cold||Heat|
|Gravel||Rain||Tight right turns from a stop|
|Target Fixation||I had to lay it down||Emergency gear to wear|
|Emergency stop situation on a highway||Avoid steel||Looks like new|
|Don’t be so quick to pass||Use your horn proactively||What’s your exposure?|