Unsafe Motorcycle Helmets: Gimmicky Models Not So Novel
While some motorcycle riders would rather feel the wind rush through their hair when they hit the road, the law in most states is clear: riders are required to wear helmets when they’re on their bikes. Regulations in the Evergreen State go one step further, requiring a specific type of helmet certified by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Despite clear regulations outlining these requirements, the popularity of dangerously unsafe helmet models continues to grow.
Looking good has its price
The aforementioned models are commonly known as novelty helmets and they frequently resemble older designs. While these retro styles may make riders feel like rebels without a cause, they provide almost no protection in motorcycle accidents. Some novelty helmets are even designed to resemble characters from motion pictures, such as the popular Predator-style helmet manufactured to resemble a character from the film of the same name. In reality, these items are helmets in name alone, since they do little to protect riders’ skulls when they crash,
Fake federal safety stickers
Confusion is heightened since some of these models falsely bear a Department of Transportation “DOT” sticker indicating that they have ostensibly passed required federal safety standards. Other riders purchase non-conforming helmets and affix counterfeit DOT stickers to them to pass them off as legal head protection. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatalities could be reduced by 37 percent if all riders wore compliant helmets. Sadly, the number of riders wearing novelty helmets is increasing, while the number of riders who wear legal helmets continues to drop.
Spotting the difference
When buying a helmet that protects riders in case of a motorcycle accident, there are a couple of critical characteristics to look out for:
- Inner liners that contain at least one-inch of thick polystyrene foam
- Strong chinstraps secured by substantial rivets
- Absence of decorative elements protruding from the helmet, which would prevent the helmet from receiving the proper certification
If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, speak to an experienced accident attorney at Mark A. Hammer & Associates. We can help you identify the parties responsible and seek the compensation you deserve.