From Road Rash to Safe Slides: The Importance of Motorcycle Safety Gear

From Road Rash to Safe Slides: The Importance of Motorcycle Safety Gear

The Choice: Sweat or Bleed – The Unspoken Truth About Motorcycle Safety Gear

The choice between sweating a little in protective gear or bleeding on the asphalt is a no-brainer. Yet, many riders still debate the necessity of motorcycle safety gear. Let’s dive into the world of motorcycle safety and understand why protective gear is not just a choice but a lifesaver.

The Miraculous Recovery of Racers

Image of a  High speed motorcycle racing on an enclosed track

We’ve all seen it – a motorcycle racer takes a nasty spill during a high-speed race, only to bounce back up, rush to their bike, and rejoin the race as if nothing happened. It’s nothing short of miraculous. 

But what’s their secret? It’s not some superhuman ability; it’s their protective gear.


Helmets: The First Line of Defense

Stylized cinematic image of a motorcycle rider wearing a full-face helmet, showcasing its protective features.

Every rider knows the importance of a helmet. Why? Because wearing the right helmet is all about protecting the most vital part of your body. Helmets are designed to absorb the impact and reduce the risk of traumatic brain injuries.

Whether you prefer full-face, open-face, or half helmets, ensuring it fits correctly and meets safety standards is crucial.


The Gruesome Reality of Road Rash

An infographic showing the different degrees of road rash, from mild to severe with text that reads "Road Rash Mild to Severe"

Imagine sliding across the rough asphalt at high speeds. Your mind is racing. A “few scratches” is the last thing you’re thinking about, right? Maybe it is, or maybe it’s the only thing you can think about as you slide and tumble and feel the flesh rip away against the rough asphalt.

The True Dangers of Road Rash

Without protective gear, the road acts like a relentless cheese grater against the skin. Road rash isn’t just a few scratches or a minor inconvenience; it can range from a superficial rug burn-like injury to a severe third-degree wound that demands immediate medical attention and has a high risk of infection.

Make no mistake. Road Rash is a kind of personal injury after a motorcycle wreck that should not be ignored, downplayed, or underestimated.

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Dressing for the Season – and Safety

A side-by-side comparison of regular jeans and Kevlar jeans after a drag test.

As the chilly winds of fall approach, riders often bundle up to keep warm. But this seasonal attire can serve a dual purpose: warmth and protection. Why not ensure that our gear, whether for warmth or style, also offers the best protection against potential accidents?

In a revealing material drag test here’s how various forms of leg protection stood up:

  1. Regular jeans gave way in less than 4 feet at 35 mph. 
  2. Kevlar jeans lasted a commendable 22 feet at the same speed.
  3. Heavy leathers lasted a whopping 86 feet at 35 mph. 

It’s often said that “ya get what ya pay for,” but these numbers alone should make the case for investing in quality protective gear.

“What makes Kevlar so effective?”

Though it may be known for bulletproof vests, most people don’t realize just how versatile Kevlar is. Kevlar, a synthetic fiber developed by DuPont in the 1960s, has become synonymous with high-strength and protective applications, from bulletproof vests to motorcycle gear.

Top 8 reasons Kevlar is effective:
  1. High Tensile Strength: Kevlar’s tensile strength, which is the measure of how much pulling (or tension) a material can withstand without breaking, is about five times stronger than steel on an equal weight basis. This means that Kevlar can absorb and dissipate energy from impacts or abrasions very effectively.
  2. Lightweight: Despite its strength, Kevlar is lightweight. This combination of strength and low weight makes it ideal for protective clothing, allowing wearers to remain agile.
  3. Thermal Stability: Kevlar doesn’t melt or start to get soft. It can withstand temperatures up to about 450°C (842°F) before it begins to degrade, making it resistant to heat and flame.
  4. Chemical Resistance: Kevlar is chemically stable and is resistant to many harsh chemicals, solvents, and oils. This property ensures that its strength and integrity are maintained even in challenging environments.
  5. Low Elongation at Break: This means that Kevlar doesn’t stretch much before breaking. In the context of protective gear, this ensures that the material doesn’t deform easily upon impact, providing consistent protection.
  6. Woven Structure: When used in protective gear, Kevlar is often woven into a fabric. This woven structure provides a network of fibers that can spread out the force of an impact, reducing the risk of penetration or abrasion.
  7. Layering: In many protective applications, multiple layers of Kevlar are used to enhance its protective capabilities. The layers can move against each other, further dissipating the energy of an impact.
  8. Durability: Kevlar fibers are resistant to wear, tear, and age, ensuring that products made from them have a long lifespan.

Kevlar’s properties make it particularly effective at preventing road rash. When a rider falls, the abrasion resistance of Kevlar can prevent the asphalt from reaching the skin, while its high tensile strength can reduce the risk of the gear tearing upon impact.


Kevlar Jeans vs. Heavy Leathers: An Unbiased Comparative Look at Motorcycle Protection

Image of a man wearing leathers on a motorcycle with Kevlar in the background

When it comes to motorcycle safety gear, riders often find themselves choosing between Kevlar jeans and heavy leathers. Both offer protection, but they come with distinct advantages and considerations. Let’s break down the benefits and differences of each:

Kevlar Jeans:

  • Lightweight and Comfortable: Kevlar jeans provide a more casual and comfortable fit compared to heavy leathers. They’re designed to look and feel like regular jeans, making them suitable for everyday wear.
  • Abrasion Resistance: Kevlar, a synthetic fiber, is known for its high tensile strength. When woven into jeans, it offers impressive abrasion resistance, protecting the skin during slides.
  • Versatility: Kevlar jeans are versatile and can be worn in various settings, not just while riding. They’re ideal for riders who want protection without changing outfits after reaching their destination.
  • Breathability: These jeans tend to be more breathable than heavy leathers, making them a preferred choice in warmer climates.

Heavy Leathers:

  • Superior Protection: Heavy leathers offer unmatched protection against abrasions, cuts, and impacts. They’ve been the go-to choice for professional racers for decades.
  • Durability: Leather is naturally tough and can withstand repeated wear and tear. With proper care, leather gear can last for years.
  • Weather Resistance: Leather provides a natural barrier against wind and light rain, making it suitable for rides in varying weather conditions.
  • Fit and Form: Heavy leathers, especially those designed for racing, often come with a snug fit, reducing the risk of the material bunching up and causing discomfort or reduced protection during a slide.

While both Kevlar jeans and heavy leathers offer protection for riders, the choice often boils down to the rider’s specific needs and preferences. For everyday commuting and a more casual look, Kevlar jeans are an excellent choice. However, for those seeking maximum protection, especially during high-speed rides or on tracks, heavy leathers remain the gold standard.

Regardless of the choice, ensuring the gear fits correctly and is worn consistently is key to maximizing safety, and either choice is better than shorts!


Beating the Heat with the Right Gear

A biker wearing a mesh textile jacket, with a focus on the breathable fabric and body armor.

One common gripe among riders is the heat associated with safety gear, especially during the scorching summer months. But here’s the catch: not all protective gear is sweltering.

Mesh textile jackets with body armor (as seen above), for instance, can be cooler than a basic sleeveless t-shirt. The key is airflow. Once you stop, shedding the jacket can prevent overheating.

For those who find chaps or riding pants too stifling, products like the CoolAir Mesh Bohn armored pants offer a breezy alternative. Designed to be worn under jeans, they provide crucial protection without the heat.


Visibility Matters: Shine Bright on the Road

A biker wearing a jacket with reflective stripes, visible in low light.

Safety isn’t just about protection from impact; it’s also about being seen. Especially during night rides, rain, or foggy conditions, reflective patches or stripes on your gear can make a world of difference. They ensure that other motorists spot you from a distance, reducing the chances of accidents.

Chosing the right reflective gear for night rides can be nearly as important as making sure you have a great working headlight on your bike.


Protecting the Extremities

A close-up of a biker's hands gripping the handlebars, showcasing heavy leather gloves with reinforced knuckles.

Your hands and feet are especially vulnerable in a crash. Investing in gloves and boots with adequate padding can make a world of difference. From heavy leather options to lighter variants for warmer weather, there’s a glove for every rider and every condition.


“How often should I replace my safety gear?”

Two motorcycle helmets side-by-side. The one on the left is old and worn, the second on the right is new with updated safety features.

Just like your motorcycle, your gear also needs regular checks and maintenance. Cleaning your helmet visor ensures clear visibility. Checking for wear and tear, especially in protective padding, ensures they provide maximum protection. And remember, if a piece of gear has been through an accident, it might be time to replace it, even if it looks okay. Safety gear is designed to absorb impact, and its protective qualities might be compromised after a crash.

Remember, if a piece of gear has been through an accident, it might be time to replace it, even if it looks okay.

The Price of Safety vs. The Cost of Neglect

Yes, quality protective gear can be pricey. But when you weigh the costs – pain, medical bills, potential loss of income, and the sheer trauma of an accident – that price suddenly seems trivial. As the old saying goes, “It’s better to sweat than to bleed.” So, the next time you gear up for a ride, remember: your safety is in your hands. Choose wisely.


Your Safety Net After the Ride

Image of The Biker Lawyers standing by their motorcycles

Accidents happen, even to the most cautious and geared-up riders. If you or someone you know has been injured while riding, don’t navigate the aftermath alone. The Biker Lawyers are here to support and guide you. We understand the unique challenges bikers face and are committed to ensuring you get the justice and compensation you deserve.

Contact us today for a free consultation and let us be your road to recovery.

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The 2023 Comprehensive Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Motorcycle Helmets

The 2023 Comprehensive Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Motorcycle Helmets

The 2023 Comprehensive Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Motorcycle Helmets

Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience, but safety should always be a top priority. One of the most crucial safety gear for riders is the motorcycle helmet. Let’s dive deep into the world of motorcycle helmets and answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

Required or Not: Motorcycle Helmet Laws by State (as of 2023)

A graphic of the united states with text reading "Helmet Laws By State"

Each state has its own set of laws regarding helmet usage. While some states mandate helmets for all riders, others require them only for specific age groups or under certain conditions. Always check your state’s regulations before hitting the road.

Here is a breakdown of current Motorcycle helmet laws by state, according to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):

StateHelmet Law
AlabamaAll riders are required to wear helmets.
AlaskaRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
ArizonaRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
ArkansasRiders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
CaliforniaAll riders are required to wear helmets.
ColoradoRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
ConnecticutRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Delaware18 and younger and passengers 18 and younger; novice riders and their passengers for the first two years after endorsement.
FloridaRiders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
GeorgiaAll riders are required to wear helmets.
HawaiiRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
IdahoRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
IllinoisNo helmet law.
IndianaRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
IowaNo helmet law.
KansasRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
KentuckyRiders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
LouisianaAll riders are required to wear helmets.
MaineRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
MarylandAll riders are required to wear helmets.
MassachusettsAll riders are required to wear helmets.
MichiganRiders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
MinnesotaRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
MississippiAll riders are required to wear helmets.
MissouriRiders 25 and younger are required to wear helmets.
MontanaRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Nebraska20 and younger are required to wear helmets. In Nebraska,  riders 21 and older will not be required to wear a helmet as long as they have completed a basic certification course provided by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (effective 01/01/2024).
NevadaAll riders are required to wear helmets.
New HampshireNo helmet law.
New JerseyAll riders are required to wear helmets.
New MexicoRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
New YorkAll riders are required to wear helmets.
North CarolinaAll riders are required to wear helmets.
North DakotaRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
OhioRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
OklahomaRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
OregonAll riders are required to wear helmets.
PennsylvaniaRiders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Rhode IslandRiders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
South CarolinaRiders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
South DakotaRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
TennesseeAll riders are required to wear helmets.
TexasRiders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
UtahRiders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
VermontAll riders are required to wear helmets.
VirginiaAll riders are required to wear helmets.
WashingtonAll riders are required to wear helmets.
West VirginiaAll riders are required to wear helmets.
WisconsinRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
WyomingRiders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets. Helmets are mandatory for mopeds defined by the state as having an engine displacement of 50 cc or less, brake horsepower of 2 or less, and maximum speeds of 30 mph.

You may notice that Iowa is one of very few states with no helmet law. This is thanks in large part to organizations like ABATE who fight for the rights and interests of bikers everywhere. The Biker Lawyers are proud members of ABATE and highly recommend you check out this awesome brotherhood!

It’s important to note that while these laws provide a general guideline, there might be specific conditions or exceptions in each state, and laws may change over time.

Always refer to the state’s official regulations or consult with a local attorney for the most accurate and up-to-date information.


Motorcycle Helmet Safety

Image of a man on a motorcycle at an intersection.

Safety should always be the top priority when choosing a helmet. Here’s a more in-depth look at some of the safety aspects:

Certifications 

Helmets undergo testing to meet specific safety standards. The most common certifications are DOT (Department of Transportation), ECE (Economic Commission for Europe), and Snell. Each certification has its testing criteria, but all ensure a helmet provides adequate protection.

Material and Construction

Helmets are typically made from polycarbonate, fiberglass composite, or carbon fiber. Each material offers different levels of protection, weight, and comfort. Multi-layered EPS (expanded polystyrene) liners inside the helmet absorb impact during a crash.

Full-Face vs. Open-Face

image of an open-faced and closed faced helmet with a graphic including letters "vs"

Full-face helmets offer the most protection as they cover the entire head, including the face and jawline. Open-face or half helmets might be more comfortable for some, but they provide less protection.

Retention System

The chin strap keeps the helmet securely on the head. It should be easy to fasten and unfasten, and when secured, the helmet should not move around on the head.

Visor and Face Shield

A good visor or face shield protects the rider from wind, debris, and UV rays. Anti-fog and anti-scratch coatings can enhance visibility in various conditions.

Regular Inspection

Helmets should be inspected regularly for signs of wear, damage, or degradation. The interior padding can compress over time, and the outer shell might get scratched or chipped. Any visible damage is a sign that it’s time for a replacement.

Post-Accident Replacement

Even if there’s no visible damage after an accident, the helmet’s structural integrity might be compromised. It’s always safer to replace a helmet after a significant impact.

Safety is paramount, and while style and comfort are essential, they should never compromise protection. Always prioritize safety features when choosing a helmet and ride with confidence, knowing you’re well-protected.


Motorcycle Helmet Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Close up image of a motorcycle helmet on the ground

What are the Disadvantages of Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet?

To be fair, wearing a helmet has undeniable safety advantages but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. While the advantages of wearing a motorcycle helmet far outweigh the disadvantages, it’s important to consider all factors when deciding if wearing a helmet is right for you. Here are some commonly cited disadvantages of wearing a motorcycle helmet:

  1. Restricted Peripheral Vision: Some riders feel that helmets, especially full-face varieties, can restrict their peripheral vision. This limitation can potentially make it harder to see vehicles or obstacles on the side.
  2. Reduced Hearing: Helmets can muffle sounds, making it harder for riders to hear certain noises from the surroundings, such as horns, sirens, or other vehicles.
  3. Weight: Helmets, especially those made of robust materials, can be heavy. Wearing them for extended periods might cause neck or shoulder strain for some riders.
  4. Heat and Discomfort: In hot climates, wearing a helmet can become uncomfortable due to the accumulation of heat. Even with ventilation systems, a helmet can cause sweating and discomfort during long rides in the sun.
  5. Cost: Quality helmets with advanced safety features can be expensive. For riders on a budget, this can be a significant consideration.
  6. False Sense of Security: Some riders might feel invincible with a helmet on and might indulge in riskier behavior, thinking they’re fully protected. This mindset can be dangerous as helmets are just one aspect of overall road safety.
  7. Communication Difficulties: Conversing with fellow riders at stops or signals can be challenging with a full-face helmet, requiring riders to lift the visor or the entire helmet.
  8. Potential for Fogging: In colder or humid conditions, the visor of a helmet can fog up, reducing visibility. While many modern helmets come with anti-fogging features, it’s still a concern for some riders.

All this said it would be irresponsible of us to not remind you that despite these disadvantages, the safety benefits far outweigh the disadvantages when it comes to wearing a helmet. 

But hey man, in the end, it’s your choice. That’s what freedom is all about!

What are the Benefits of a Half Helmet for Motorcycle Riders?

open-faced motorcycle helmet with goggles sits on the back of a motorcycle

Half helmets, often referred to as “brain buckets,” cover the top of the head. They offer better visibility and more airflow, making them popular in hotter climates. However, they provide less protection compared to full-face helmets.

What are the Best Motorcycle Helmets for Beginners?

close up image of a motorcycle helmet with an open visor

For beginners, venturing into the world of motorcycling can be both thrilling and daunting. One of the first and most crucial decisions a new rider will make is selecting the right helmet. A helmet is not just about protection; it’s about comfort, visibility, and enhancing the overall riding experience.

Here’s a deeper dive into choosing the best helmets for those just starting out:

  • Fit and Comfort: A helmet should fit snugly without causing discomfort. A loose helmet can shift during a ride, obstructing vision and reducing protection. Many brands offer different shell sizes and interior padding options to ensure a perfect fit.
  • Visibility: For beginners, a clear field of vision is essential. Helmets with wide eye ports offer better peripheral vision, helping new riders be more aware of their surroundings.
  • Ventilation: Proper airflow is crucial, especially during longer rides or in warmer climates. Look for helmets with adjustable vents, allowing riders to regulate airflow based on weather conditions.
  • Safety Standards: Ensure the helmet meets or exceeds safety standards like DOT, ECE, or Snell. These certifications indicate that the helmet has undergone rigorous testing.
  • Ease of Use: Features like quick-release straps and integrated sun visors can make the riding experience more enjoyable for beginners.
  • Price: While it’s tempting to go for the most expensive helmet, beginners should look for a balance between cost, comfort, and safety. Brands like HJC, Bell, and Shoei offer helmets that are both affordable and reliable.
  • Reviews and Recommendations: Before making a purchase, beginners should read reviews, ask fellow riders for recommendations, and visit local shops to try on different models.

Remember, the best helmet for one rider might not be the best for another. It’s essential to find a helmet that suits individual needs and preferences.

Is a Motorcycle Helmet Still Safe to Use After an Accident?

close up image of a white helmet at a motorcycle crash scene

No. Even if there’s no visible damage, the helmet’s integrity might be compromised. 

Helmets are designed to absorb impact by dispersing and cushioning the force throughout the helmet’s structure. 

Once a helmet has been subjected to a significant force, such as in a crash, its ability to provide the same level of protection is diminished. The materials inside, especially the EPS liner, are meant for one-time use; they compress upon impact to reduce the force before it reaches the head. 

If the helmet hit anything during the accident, it’s probably best to replace it. Even a mild crash can cause unseen micro-damage, reducing the helmet’s protective capabilities in future impacts. It’s always better to be safe than sorry; your life and well-being are worth more than the cost of a new helmet.

Are Full-Face Motorcycle Helmets Safer?

Absolutely. Full-face helmets stand out as the top choice for riders prioritizing safety. They envelop the entire head, including the face, chin, and neck areas, which are notably susceptible during accidents. 

The continuous shell around the head and face that full-face helmets provide also shields riders from environmental nuisances like wind, rain, debris, and pesky insects. 

While the allure of open-face or half helmets might appeal to some for their style or breezy feel, when it boils down to sheer protective capability, full-face helmets reign supreme.

Is it More Safe to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet or Not Wear One?

Smaller image of Ginger Jansen on a Harley Davidson

The answer is clear-cut: strapping on a helmet is always the safer route.

Helmets are meticulously crafted to absorb and distribute the brunt of an impact, drastically slashing the risk of severe head traumas or fatalities. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), helmets are about 37% effective in warding off fatal injuries to motorcycle enthusiasts. 

Riding without that protective layer leaves one exposed to direct, unforgiving impacts, potentially leading to traumatic brain injuries or worse. 

Beyond the life-saving crash protection, helmets also serve as a barrier against the elements, elevating the overall riding experience. The decision to wear a helmet can spell the difference between a minor scrape and a catastrophic injury.

What Speed Are Motorcycle Helmets Rated For?

Image of a man riding a motorcycle on an empty highway

It might surprise some to learn that most motorcycle helmets undergo impact tests simulating speeds around 13-14 mph. 

While this might seem modest given the velocities motorcycles can reach, it’s pivotal to grasp that these tests mirror the average speed a rider’s head would strike the ground in real-world mishaps, not the motorcycle’s cruising speed. 

In a plethora of accidents, even if the bike is zooming at highway speeds, factors like sliding, tumbling, or the bike’s deceleration can temper the actual head impact speed. With that in mind, it’s always wise to champion safety and steer clear of reckless speeds.

Helmets offer a formidable line of defense, but they aren’t magic barriers. Adopting a responsible riding approach maximizes the protective prowess of any helmet.

Are Expensive Motorcycle Helmets Worth It?

a shelf with four motorcycle helmets for sale

When it comes to helmets, the age-old adage “you get what you pay for” often rings true. 

Pricier helmets tend to offer enhanced comfort, superior ventilation, and cutting-edge features. They might also boast advanced materials and construction techniques that can provide better protection. 

However, it’s crucial to remember that safety standards, such as DOT or ECE, remain consistent across various price points. So, while a high-end helmet might offer additional comforts and features, many mid-range helmets still provide excellent protection.

Should I Buy a Pre-owned Motorcycle Helmet?

two shelves showcasing an extensive motorcycle helmet collection.

Regarding pre-owned helmets: while snagging a deal might be tempting, helmets are one piece of gear you should always buy new. The reason is simple. Even if a used helmet looks pristine, you can’t be certain of its history. It might have been involved in an accident or dropped, which could compromise its structural integrity. Plus, the interior padding of helmets, designed to provide a snug fit, conforms to the shape of the original wearer’s head over time.

A used helmet might not offer the same level of comfort or protection as a new one tailored to your head shape.

Are Most Motorcycle Helmets One Size Fits All?

image of a man and woman strapping on motorcycle helmets

Definitely not. Just as every individual is unique, so is the shape and size of their head. Helmets come in a variety of sizes, from XS to XXL, and many brands even offer different shell sizes and interior padding options to ensure an optimal fit. 

A proper fit is paramount for safety; a helmet that’s too loose or too tight can be a distraction and might not provide the best protection in an accident.

If you’re purchasing your first helmet, visiting a brick-and-mortar store can be invaluable.

three shelves with rows of motorcycle helmets for sale

 Local motorcycle shops or specialty helmet retailers often have knowledgeable salespeople who can guide you through the fitting process. They’ll measure your head, recommend sizes, and let you try on different models. This hands-on approach ensures you get a helmet that fits perfectly, which might be challenging when ordering online without prior experience.

How Does the Sun Visor Work in a Motorcycle Helmet?

Image of a man riding a motorcycle

Integrated sun visors in motorcycle helmets are a game-changer for many riders. These visors can be flipped down to shield the eyes from bright sunlight, eliminating the need for sunglasses and making transitions from light to dark areas smoother.

But beyond mere shading, many of these visors offer UV protection. On average, quality sun visors in helmets can block out up to 99% of harmful UV rays, safeguarding your eyes from potential damage and reducing eye strain during sun-drenched rides.

When shopping for a helmet with a sun visor, it’s a good idea to check the UV protection rating to ensure you’re getting the best protection possible.

How Does it Feel to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet?

Image of a person on a motorcycle at an intersection looking at the camera as if it were another motorist

Slipping on a motorcycle helmet for the first time can be a unique experience. A well-fitted helmet should feel snug around your head, with even pressure distributed throughout, but without any uncomfortable tight spots. The top of the helmet’s eye port should sit just above your eyebrows. 

As you wear it, you’ll notice a reduction in ambient noise and a sense of enclosure. This feeling of being “cocooned” can be reassuring for many, knowing that they’re shielded from potential hazards.

Does it Feel Good to Wear a Full-Sized Motorcycle Helmet?

Full-sized or full-face helmets, while offering the utmost protection, do come with a distinct feel. 

The comprehensive coverage can initially feel a tad claustrophobic to some, especially those transitioning from open-face or half helmets. However, many riders grow to appreciate the serene environment it offers, shielding them from wind blast, noise, and debris.

Over time, as riders get accustomed to the sensation, the benefits of enhanced safety and comfort usually outweigh any initial reservations.

Is it Hot to Wear a Full-Face Motorbike Helmet?

close-up image of a motorcycle rider wearing a helmet

Full-face helmets, due to their comprehensive coverage, can feel warmer than their open-face counterparts. However, advancements in helmet design have led to improved ventilation systems.

Modern full-face helmets come equipped with multiple vents that channel fresh air in and expel hot air out, creating a cooling effect. While they might feel a bit warm when stationary, especially in hot weather, the airflow while riding usually keeps the rider reasonably comfortable.

Do Motorcycle Helmets Get Sweaty?

Yes, especially during warmer days or intense rides, helmets can get sweaty inside. However, modern helmets are designed with this in mind. They often feature moisture-wicking liners that pull sweat away from the skin, keeping you relatively dry.

Additionally, advanced ventilation systems allow for airflow, helping to evaporate sweat and keep the rider cool. For those who ride in particularly hot climates, it might be worth investing in helmets with superior ventilation or removable and washable liners.

Do Motorcycle Helmets Block Sound?

Image of several bikers riding motorcycles- each controlling the space around them

Helmets are designed to reduce certain types of noise, primarily wind noise. A good helmet can significantly cut down on the roar of the wind rushing past, offering a quieter ride.

However, they won’t block out essential sounds like sirens, horns, or the engine’s roar. Some riders, especially those on longer rides or high-speed journeys, opt to wear earplugs to further reduce noise levels, ensuring they can still hear crucial sounds while protecting their hearing.

Do Motorcycle Helmets Loosen Up?

nearly grayscale image of a man riding a motorcycle down a highway

Over time and with regular use, the interior padding of a helmet can compress slightly, leading to a looser fit. This is a natural process as the materials conform to the shape of the rider’s head.

However, a helmet should never become too loose. If it starts to shift or rotate easily while on your head, it’s a sign that you might need a replacement or at least new interior padding. Regularly checking the fit and ensuring it remains snug is crucial for safety.

Is it Hard to Breathe in a Motorcycle Helmet?

For the uninitiated, the notion of a full-face helmet might conjure up concerns about breathability. However, modern helmet designs prioritize the rider’s comfort and safety.

  • Ventilation Systems: Most helmets come equipped with a series of vents, especially around the mouth and nose area. These allow for a steady flow of air, ensuring that the rider can breathe comfortably.
  • Anti-Fogging Features: To combat the issue of visors fogging up due to breath, many helmets have anti-fog treatments or pin-lock systems. This ensures clear vision without compromising breathability.
  • Adjustable Features: Some helmets have adjustable chin curtains or breath guards, allowing riders to customize the airflow based on their comfort.

While it might take a ride or two to get accustomed, most riders find that breathing in a full-face helmet is no more challenging than in any other type.

What is the Most Comfortable Motorcycle Helmet?

close up image of an open visor helmet

Comfort is subjective and can vary from rider to rider. For this reason, it’s a good idea to know exactly what to look in terms of comfort for when choosing the right helmet.

Four Common Factors to Consider for Helmet Comfort

1. Fit 

A helmet that fits well, neither too tight nor too loose, is paramount. It should hug the head without causing pressure points.

2. Lining and Padding 

Helmets with plush, moisture-wicking liners tend to be more comfortable, especially on longer rides. Some helmets even offer customizable padding systems for a tailored fit.

3. Weight

Lighter helmets reduce strain on the neck and shoulders, enhancing comfort during extended rides.

4. Ventilation

A well-ventilated helmet can make a world of difference, especially in warmer climates.

Brands like Shoei, Arai, and Schuberth often receive high marks for comfort, but it’s always a good idea to try on several models to determine the best fit for your unique head shape and preferences.

What Do You Do with Old Motorcycle Helmets?

Image of an old motorcycle helmet that should not be worn

Once a helmet has reached the end of its life, whether due to age, wear, or an accident, it’s essential to retire it responsibly. Here are four solid suggestions:

  1. Recycle: Some areas offer recycling programs for helmets. The outer shell, EPS liner, and other components can sometimes be processed separately.
  2. Donate: Some organizations accept old helmets for display, educational, or artistic purposes. They might use them in crash demonstrations or for art projects.
  3. Repurpose: Get creative! Turn your old helmet into a planter, lamp, or any other DIY project.
  4. Dispose: If you can’t find a recycling or donation option, ensure you dispose of your helmet properly. It’s a good idea to cut the straps off to ensure it doesn’t get reused unsafely.

Remember, an old helmet should never be sold or given away for riding purposes. Its protective capabilities are likely compromised, and it could be dangerous for a new rider.

Should You Customize a Motorcycle Helmet with Bluetooth Audio and Accessories?

motorcycle helmet with a set of bull horns attached to the sides

It’s essential to avoid any alterations that might compromise the helmet’s structural integrity, such as drilling holes. Instead, opt for accessories specifically designed for motorcycle helmets. In the world of biking, safety and functionality should always ride hand in hand.

Customizing a motorcycle helmet with Bluetooth audio and other accessories has become increasingly popular among riders, and it’s easy to see why. Bluetooth systems have revolutionized on-road communication, allowing riders to seamlessly connect with fellow bikers. 

This is especially beneficial during group rides, where coordination and communication can enhance the overall experience. Beyond just chatting, these systems provide the added advantage of real-time navigation instructions, eliminating the need to frequently stop and check maps.

Beyond Practical Application: More Benefits of Helmet Customization

Of course, we can’t forget to mention the entertainment value.

Long rides can sometimes become monotonous, but with Bluetooth audio, you can immerse yourself in your favorite tunes, podcasts, or audiobooks, making the journey as enjoyable as the destination. This fusion of technology and riding brings a modern twist to the age-old thrill of motorcycling.

However, while the allure of customization is strong, safety should always be at the forefront of any modifications. If you choose to customize your helmet, you should be cautious to ensure that your enhancements don’t undermine the helmet’s primary function: protection.

In Conclusion

image of a motorcycle crash scene with a helmet

Motorcycle helmets are a rider’s best friend, offering protection and enhancing the overall riding experience. Remember, safety first! And if you ever find yourself injured in an accident, don’t hesitate. Contact The Biker Lawyers for expert guidance and support.

Motorcycles Vs Cars: Which is Deadlier?

Motorcycles Vs Cars: Which is Deadlier?

How much more likely are you to die on a motorcycle than in a car?

Nowadays, motorcycles have become a popular mode of transportation. Most riders use motorcycles for daily commutes, but riding a motorcycle is also a great passion hobby. Unfortunately, sometimes our passions come at a cost.

Motorcycle Versus Car Fatalities

Technology upgrades have made motorcycles more advanced and powerful. Despite being equipped with several ride-safety features, motorcycles are more prone to accidents than cars. Many accidents on motorcycles are the kind the rider doesn’t walk away from.

Read on to learn how much more likely you are to die on a motorcycle than on a car.

Table of Contents

1. How Much More Likely Are You to Die on a Motorcycle than in a Car?
1.1 Lack of Cabin/Enclosed Space
1.2 Lack of Seatbelts
1.3 Lack of Airbags
1.4 Less Stable
1.5 Difficult to control at high speeds
1.6 Less Visible on the Road
2. Motorcycle Accidents Statistics
3. How to be safe and avoid accidents while riding a motorcycle
4. Advantages of Motorcycles over Cars
5. Conclusion

1.    How Much More Likely Are You to Die on a Motorcycle than in a Car?

Image of a motorcycle crashed into the back of a car

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), per mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely to die in a traffic crash than people in passenger cars.

Although motorcycles account for only a small fraction of total vehicle miles in the U.S., they make up a disproportionately high number of traffic fatalities. This stark difference is largely due to the lack of physical protection that a motorcycle offers compared to a car.

Motorcyclists are directly exposed to the force of impact in the event of a collision, unlike car drivers who have seatbelts, airbags, and the car’s chassis to absorb some of the impact.

Even a minor mistake, either by the motorcyclist or by other drivers, can have severe consequences when on a motorcycle. Factors such as speed, lack of helmet use, and alcohol impairment further increase the risk of fatal crashes for motorcyclists. Therefore, it’s critical for motorcyclists to follow all safety regulations and remain alert on the road to mitigate these risks.

Image of a crashed motorcycle on the side of a road

Let’s break down the facts behind motorcycle versus car fatalities.

1.1 Lack of Cabin/Enclosed Space

Motorcycles do not have enclosed spaces or cabins to cover riders. The enclosed frames in cars provide extra protection to drivers and passengers and take the most impact in case of an accident. Due to the lack of enclosed space in motorcycles, they are not safe to ride in the rain or windy weather.

1.2 Lack of Seatbelts

Motorcycles do not have a seatbelt which makes them less safe than cars. In most motorcycle crashes, motorcyclists are usually thrown off over the handlebars due to the inertia and lack of seatbelt. The same thing can happen to a rider if he/she applies brakes forcefully to stop the motorcycle.

1.3 Lack of Airbags

The first motorcycle to install a standard airbag on a motorcycle was the Honda Gold Wing. Other than the Gold Wing, most motorcycles do not have airbags installed standard (however, Other motorcycles that offer optional airbag systems include the BMW K 1600 GT and Valkyrie).

Airbags can save lives as they avoid severe injuries during an accident. For this reason, some vests for bikers come equipped with airbags that deploy in the event of a crash. These can range in price from around $130 USD to $800 USD.

1.4 Less Stable

Unlike cars, motorcycles are difficult to balance while riding as they have two wheels. If you are riding a motorcycle for the first time, the first challenge would be to balance it and ensure stability. Most beginner riders fail to keep a balance and lose control of their motorcycles while steering and turning corners.

1.5 Difficult to Control at High Speeds

Most motorcycle accidents occur due to speeding. Motorcycles become unstable at high speeds and there are higher chances you will lose control of it. Ride within your abilities, especially while cornering, swerving, and riding on busy roads to avoid accidents.

1.6 Less Visible on the Road

Motorcycles are smaller than cars, making them less visible to car drivers if they do not pay close attention while driving. Most motorcycle accidents occur because distracted drivers fail to notice motorcycles while turning.

Illustration of the concept of the lethal left where a car pulls in front of an oncoming motorcycle

2. Motorcycle Accidents Statistics

A study by the Insurance Information Institute (III) states:

  • In 2020, more than 5,500 motorcycle riders lost their lives.
  • In 2020, almost 83,000 riders got injured.
  • Motorcycle riders are six times more likely to suffer from serious injuries than car drivers and passengers.

Image of a crashed red motorcycle

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • In 2020, the percentage of impaired riders who died in motorcycle accidents was higher than car drivers.
  • Motorcycle riders are about 28 times more likely to die in a motorcycle accident than car drivers and passengers.

3. How To Be Safe and Avoid Accidents While Riding a Motorcycle

There are several ways through which you can make your motorcycle riding experience safe and avoid accidents, including:

  • If you are a beginner, take a motorcycle riding course.
  • If you are an intermediate or expert-level rider, take a safety riding course.
  • Follow traffic laws.
  • Do not ride if you are under the influence.
  • Wear a DOT-approved helmet and safety riding gear (leather jacket, pants, and gloves)
  • Ride within your ability, and under control
  • If you are a beginner, only ride beginner-friendly motorcycles.
  • If you want to upgrade yourself from a beginner level, learn specialized riding skills, including leaning, hanging off, cornering, and swerving.
  • Keep your motorcycle maintained.
  • Inspect your motorcycle before you go for a ride.
  • Use side mirrors and turn signals to indicate your intentions before taking a turn
  • Only use full brakes in true panic situations, and when you do, use both front and rear brakes (and practice this type of stop at various speeds before ever needing to use it)
  • Make sure to gently press both front and rear brakes together to stop your motorcycle.
  • Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you.
  • Do not go for a ride if you are stressed.
  • Ride defensively
  • Check carefully before riding through intersections.

It might be impossible to completely avoid motorcycle crashes. However, you can be safe and avoid severe injuries in a motorcycle accident by following the tips mentioned above. You can also seek help from a personal injury or motorcycle accident lawyer at The Biker Lawyers in the Midwest.

4. Advantages of Motorcycles over Cars

Image of two motorcycles driving towards sunset

Motorcycles are slightly less safe than cars, but they have certain advantages which make them a popular mode of transportation. These advantages include:

  • Riding a motorcycle provides several mental health benefits as it reduces the stress level and increases the dopamine level in your blood.
  • Motorcycles are smaller and take up less space than a car which makes them easy to park.
  • Unlike cars, motorcycles are better to beat heavy traffic and make way to save time.
  • They also consume less fuel than cars due to being lightweight.
  • They have better resale value than cars.
  • They’re arguably way more fun to drive than cars (and you look undeniably cooler).

5. Conclusion

Motorcycles are more prone to accidents than cars and motorcyclists are more likely to suffer severe injuries due to the lack of safety equipment, including airbags, enclosed spaces, and seatbelts. The statistics also reveal that motorcycle riders are 27 times more likely to die in an accident than drivers and passengers in cars.

Despite not being as safe as cars, motorcycles are still a popular mode of transportation and have several advantages over cars. They are smaller and lighter compared to cars, ensuring less fuel consumption, and ease in finding parking. To keep the first-aid kit with you on a motorcycle ride, you can install saddlebags available at Viking Bags.


Special thanks for this guest post by Viking Bags

If you’ve enjoyed this article about motorcycle vs car fatalities, click below to check out the previous article by Viking Bags:

Image of a lone motorcyclist riding his bike down an empty desert highway with a sign that says "Darling I like you but not so fast"

Photo Credits – Wild Triumph