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How Protective Are The Different Styles Of Motorcycle Helmet?

Although statistics prove beyond a doubt that wearing a motorcycle helmet saves lives, many riders still dispute the claim. Others choose to take the risk of riding without a helmet while knowing the risk. A helmet offers the only protection between the skull and the road or other hard surface just as the skull protects the brain. But how much protection do the different styles of motorcycle helmet really provide?

Many states have laws in place requiring the use of a helmet. Florida allows helmet use as optional for riders over 21 that carry a minimum of $10,000 in medical insurance. It is shown that states that implemented helmet requirements have reduced motorcycle accident head injuries by 50%. For proper protection, most states require helmets to be approved by the Department of Transportation. That does not mean that the helmet will offer the maximum protection. It only means that the helmet design meets the requirements for the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218.

There are three basic styles of motorcycle helmet offering three varying degrees of protection:

  • The half helmet – Also referred to as the beanie, this style helmet is preferred by cruisers because of its look and the fact that the ears are uncovered for better hearing. Half helmets are usually worn with goggles or sunglasses. They only offer protection from traumatic brain injuries in 36.8% of crashes.
  • The three quarter helmet – These helmets cover the head and ears but not the face. They offer protection from brain trauma in 55.5% of motorcycle crashes.
  • The modular or full face helmet – These helmets are favored by sport bike riders and generally shunned by cruisers. Full face helmets not only offer good head protection they offer greater chin protection, reduced noise levels and no bug to face contact.

All of the above styles of motorcycle helmets are available with DOT approval but they do not offer equal protection.

The Snell Institute, a private testing institution, not only tests and approves helmets, but they follow up with spot checks. The DOT allows helmet companies to do their own private testing and does not do follow ups. The DOT allows for less initial impact than the Snell Institute and limits impact duration. The Snell standard has no impact duration associated with its ratings.

How Does Your Helmet Affect Your Injury Claim?

To what degree does the helmet you are wearing, or not wearing, affect a claim you have for injuries received in a motorcycle crash involving another driver or an agency responsible for road maintenance? In states where helmets are mandatory, not wearing one could make the claim difficult. Wearing a helmet that is not DOT approved could also make a difference in the outcome. In helmet optional states such as Florida, there are no statistics available regarding the type of helmet, or the absence of one, in relation to awards in motorcycle brain trauma accident cases.

If You Are Involved in a Motorcycle Crash

If you are involved in a motorcycle crash, seek medical attention regardless of how you may feel and what style of motorcycle helmet you were wearing. Serious brain injuries may show no symptoms for hours, days or even weeks. Only a trained medical professional can determine through observation and testing the extent and severity of a traumatic brain injury.

Motorcycle Accident Attorney

After receiving proper examination and care, contact an experienced motorcycle accident law firm like Dolman Law Group. Dolman Law Group has successfully represented countless victims of Florida motorcycle accidents. In Florida, no-fault insurance laws do not apply to motorcycles. Your medical expenses could far exceed you medical insurance.  You could also lose a lifetime of expected income. You need a lawyer that is willing to fight for the compensation you deserve. Call Dolman Law today for a free consultation at 727-222-6922.

Dolman Law Group
1663 1St Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712