When it comes to riding a motorcycle in Texas, your helmet is the most important piece of safety gear you can own. One thing you may not have considered, however, is that no two motorcycle helmets are the same, and the features you choose for your helmet can significantly impact its effectiveness in a make-or-break scenario.
The seal of the Department of Transportation
The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration indicates that all helmets sold in the U.S. are required to meet federal safety standards. Helmets that meet these standards have the seal of the Department of Transportation on them.
Do bear in mind that if you are buying your helmet from a source outside of the U.S., it may not meet federal safety standards. Some vendors may also try to trick you by placing a counterfeit seal on the helmet.
Critical safety features
Once you have found a helmet that is approved by the DOT and meets federal safety standards, there are some specific key features that you should be looking at. For starters, you can look at the NHTSA’s online database to see the safety rating of the brand of helmet you are considering.
Different helmet styles afford different degrees of protection. If you choose a half-helmet or open-face helmet, you are not only leaving your chin exposed but also allowing wind, debris and insects to hit your face and potentially cause a fatal distraction. Opt instead for a full-face helmet, or if you want further protection, a hi-viz helmet.
Make sure that your helmet is properly sized to have a snug fit on your head, and that its shape is measured to match the shape of your head (either round oval, long oval or intermediate oval).