The Dangers of Tailgating: Best Advice to Get Tailgaters to Back Off!

The Dangers of Tailgating: Best Advice to Get Tailgaters to Back Off!

You may think you are familiar with the dangers of tailgating, but did you know the simple act of tailgating puts motorcyclists at a staggering 27 times greater risk of death compared to car occupants according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration?

It’s enough to make any biker’s heart race. Imagine cruising down the open road, feeling the wind whip through your hair, only to see a big ass truck closing in quickly and hovering far too close for comfort to your rear wheel. The fear is real and justified, and the danger even more so.

The good news? Bikers have a secret weapon: the “back off” gesture, just one tool in your arsenal against this deadly threat. 

Let’s explore why tailgating is especially dangerous for motorcyclists, and what you can do to stay safe and avoid becoming a statistic.

Why tailgating is a problem: The real dangers of tailgating

Image of the headlights of a car as seen through the reflection in a rearview mirror of a motorcycle

Tailgating is more than just an annoyance—it’s a serious hazard, especially for motorcyclists! The close proximity of a vehicle tailgating a motorcycle reduces the margin for error and can quickly turn into a dangerous or even life-threatening situation.

In Iowa and across the Midwest, we all know the very real threat of a rogue deer suddenly jumping across your path. You quickly brake to avoid a collision, but The tailgating car behind you may not be ready for your sudden stop. The result? A potentially devastating chain-reaction accident.

Image of a deer crossing a highway

Imagine cruising down the highway, feeling the wind in your hair, when a car ahead of you slams on their brakes to avoid a pothole. You have enough time to react and slow down safely, but the tailgating car behind you doesn’t. The next thing you know, you’re rear-ended, potentially thrown from your bike, and facing serious injuries. 

So, how can motorcyclists avoid being tailgated and ensure their safety on the road?

Signaling the Tailgater: The Universal “Back Off” Gesture

Illustration demonstrating the universal hand gesture for "back off" shown by bikers to tailgating motorists

The first step in dealing with a tailgater is to communicate your discomfort and concerns before they become frustration or aggression. This can be done by signaling the tailgating motorist to back off. 

The universal signal for this is simple yet effective, and no, it does not involve raising a fist and extending one finger. Instead, extend your arm downward and repeatedly move the palm of your hand backward, as if physically pushing the car away. This non-verbal communication is generally recognized and respected by most motorists.

Here are a few tips to remember when signaling a tailgater:

  1. Make sure it’s safe to take one hand off the handlebars before signaling.
  2. Use clear, deliberate movements to ensure the tailgater understands your signal.
  3. Avoid aggressive or rude gestures that could escalate the situation.

Finding a Safe Place to Pull Over: Prioritizing Safety Over Speed

Close up photo of the back of a motorcycle that has pulled over safely to the side of the road.

If the tailgating motorist fails to respond and continues to follow too closely, the next best course of action is to locate a safe area to pull over and allow the tailgater to pass. It’s important to prioritize safety over speed or reaching your destination on time.

Speeding up is not a viable solution, as it will likely only result in being tailgated at an even higher speed. Once the tailgater has overtaken you, you can continue to enjoy your ride safely.

The Importance of Maintaining a Safe Distance: The Three-Second Rule

Image illustrating stationary points for counting the 3-second rule for following in traffic

Here is the best way to gauge a safe following distance:

  1. Choose a fixed point ahead of the vehicle in front of you (also known as “stationary points”.
  2. When the vehicle in front passes that point, start counting seconds.
  3. If you pass the same point before you finish counting to three, you’re following too closely.

If you’ve made it this far in the article, it should be obvious that maintaining a safe distance on the road is crucial for all vehicles, including motorcycles, to help avoid the dangers of tailgating.

If a biker tailgates a car, they risk a dangerous collision. Trailing vehicles should keep a three-second (or more) margin between the front of the following vehicle and the rear end of the vehicle being followed. This three-second safety margin is proven to significantly reduce the chance of being involved in a rear-end collision, ensuring safer roads for everyone.

If riding in a group, consider following the three-second rule while riding in “staggered formation” as shown below.

Image demonstrating the proper way to ride staggered formation on a motorcycle

Hit the Brakes, Not the Road: Don’t Let a Tailgate Ruin Your Ride

Remember that terrifying near-miss we talked about earlier? Imagine the consequences if the car behind you wasn’t just tailgating, but slamming into your back wheel. Scary stuff, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t just some hypothetical scenario to highlight the dangers of tailgating. These situations happen more often than they should, and motorcyclists often bear the brunt of the damage, both physically and financially.

That’s where knowing your rights comes in. Don’t just dust yourself off and move on if you’ve been injured in an accident thanks to an accident caused by a tailgating motorist. You deserve compensation for your medical bills, bike repairs, and lost wages. But navigating the legal system can be daunting, especially when you’re recovering from an injury.

Image of a biker on the side of a highway with his motorcycle as he contemplates next steps after a close call with a car tailgating him.

That’s why there are lawyers who specialize in fighting for the rights of injured motorcyclists. They understand the unique challenges you face and know how to build a strong case against negligent drivers.

Here’s the bottom line: You shouldn’t have to shoulder the burden of an accident caused by someone else’s recklessness. By seeking legal support, you can hold the tailgater accountable. This means you’ll get the compensation you deserve to get back on your feet (and back on the road safely).

Remember: Riding a motorcycle is about freedom, not fear. By taking steps to stay safe, you can minimize the risk of tailgating incidents.


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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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Riding in Iowa: From Motorcycle Laws and Licensing to Lane Splitting and Beyond

Riding in Iowa: From Motorcycle Laws and Licensing to Lane Splitting and Beyond

Navigating the Roads and Laws of Iowa: From Licensing to Lane Splitting and Beyond

Motorcycling is more than just the thrill of the open road. It’s about understanding the machine, the laws, and the community. From Iowa Motorcycle Laws to Safety, we’ve got all of your questions answered in this comprehensive rider’s guide.

In this article:

Ever found yourself pondering some of the more intricate details of the biking world? We’ve got you covered. Before we dive into the most burning questions riders have about motorcycling, we should remind you to check your local laws before riding in a new state or if you’re a new rider. 

One great thing about these United States is that each State sets its own laws, so you might want to make sure you understand yours before you ride.

Your Top Motorcycle Questions Answered

After a chat with our community and audience on various platforms, we’ve gathered some of the most intriguing and frequently asked questions about motorcycling. Let’s break them down.


Licensing & Legality: The Basics

A man studying to get his motorcycle license

“What are the steps to getting a motorcycle license and how hard is it to get one?”

Just like driving a car, you need a special license for motorcycles. The process might differ slightly depending on where you live, but generally, you’ll need to pass a written test, show off your skills in a practical test, and ensure your eyes are road-worthy with a vision exam. Let’s dive a bit deeper.

Steps to Getting a Motorcycle License

Note: Laws and requirements may vary from state to state. Make sure you know yours before you hit the road!

  1. Age Requirement: Ensure you meet the minimum age requirement, which varies by state. In many places, it’s 16 or 18 years old.
  2. Motorcycle Learner’s (AKA Instruction) Permit: Before obtaining a full motorcycle license, many states require new riders to first get a motorcycle learner’s permit. This permit allows you to practice riding under certain restrictions. In Iowa, riders must be at least 14 years old to apply for a motorcycle instruction permit.
  3. Motorcycle Safety Course: Enroll in a state-approved motorcycle safety course. These courses typically include classroom instruction and hands-on riding exercises. Completing a safety course can provide valuable riding skills, and safety techniques, and in some states, can waive the riding test requirement for the license.
  4. Written Test: Schedule and take the written knowledge test at your local DMV or equivalent agency. This test covers motorcycle-specific traffic laws, safety rules, and best practices.
  5. Skills Test: After passing the written test and gaining some practice (often with a learner’s permit), you’ll need to take a skills test. This is a practical examination where you demonstrate your ability to safely operate a motorcycle. The test might include maneuvers like turning, stopping, accelerating, and navigating obstacles.
  6. Vision Test: Some states require a vision test to ensure you can see adequately while riding.
  7. Fees: Pay the necessary fees for the motorcycle endorsement or license.
  8. Receive Your License: Once you’ve met all the requirements and passed the necessary tests, you’ll receive your motorcycle endorsement or license. This might be a separate license or an endorsement added to your existing driver’s license.

How Hard Is It to Get a Motorcycle License?

A biker takes a motorcycle driving test

The difficulty of obtaining a motorcycle license largely depends on your preparation and prior experience. For someone new to motorcycling, the skills test can be challenging, but with adequate practice and training, it’s entirely achievable. 

The written test, on the other hand, requires a good understanding of the motorcycle manual provided by the state’s DMV or equivalent agency. Completing a motorcycle safety course can significantly help in preparing for both the written and skills tests.

“What happens if you drive a motorcycle without a license?”

Think twice before hopping on your bike without a license. You could face some hefty fines or even spend a night or two behind bars.

“Is it illegal to run a motorcycle or an auto repair business out of your house?”

A man in a motorcycle repair shop teaches a young boy about repairing engines

Dreaming of turning your garage into a motorcycle repair shop? Check your local laws first. Some places might be cool with it, while others have strict rules against running businesses in residential areas.


Ownership & Costs: The Real Deal

A biker contemplates the pros and cons of owning a motorcycle

“What are the pros and cons of owning a motorcycle?”

Bikes are awesome. They’re fuel-efficient, give you a unique sense of freedom, and let’s be honest, they’re cool. But they also need regular maintenance, and there’s always the safety aspect to consider.

Pros of Owning a Motorcycle:

  • Fuel Efficiency: Motorcycles typically get much better gas mileage than cars, making them more economical for commuting and traveling.
  • Cost-Effective: Initial purchase, insurance, and maintenance costs for motorcycles are generally lower than for cars.
  • Parking: Due to their size, motorcycles can be parked in smaller spaces, and some cities offer free or discounted parking for motorcycles.
  • Traffic Navigation: In some areas, motorcycles can lane-split or filter through traffic, reducing commute times.
  • Environmental Impact: Motorcycles produce fewer emissions than most cars, making them a more environmentally friendly option.
  • Freedom and Thrill: Many riders love the sense of freedom and the thrill of being on the open road with a motorcycle.
  • Community: There’s a strong sense of camaraderie among bikers, with numerous clubs, groups, and events dedicated to motorcycle enthusiasts.
  • Less Space: Motorcycles require less storage space than cars, which can be beneficial for those with limited parking options.
  • Emotional Benefits: We touched on this before, but the social community aspect and camaraderie is amazing for a rider’s mental health and emotional well-being. Now, this may sound biased, but we’ve found that people who ride motorcycles often experience more stress relief, are more focused in many situations, and overall have a higher quality of life.
  • Physical Benefits: Riding a motorcycle can be physically taxing in that it works your core muscles and helps with posture which in turn (see what we did there?), helps with circulation.

Image of a motorcycle rushing down an open highway in the Autumn

Cons of Owning a Motorcycle:

  • Safety Concerns: Motorcyclists are more exposed and, therefore, more vulnerable to injuries in the event of an accident.
  • Weather Dependency: Although the purists and most experienced may say that it’s riding season all year, we all know our riding experience is tied closely to the weather. As much as we may hate to admit it, riding in adverse weather conditions like rain, snow, or extreme heat can be uncomfortable and risky.
  • Limited Storage: Motorcycles don’t offer much in terms of storage space, making grocery trips or transporting larger items challenging.
  • Passenger Limitations: Most motorcycles can only comfortably and safely carry one passenger.
  • Learning Curve: Riding a motorcycle requires a different skill set than driving a car. New riders need to invest time in learning and practicing.
  • Maintenance: While maintenance might be cheaper, motorcycles often require more frequent attention, especially if ridden regularly.
  • Seasonal: In areas with harsh winters, motorcycles might only be usable for part of the year.
  • Insurance Rates: While generally cheaper, insurance rates can be high for sport bikes or for riders with little experience.
  • Theft: Motorcycles can be easier targets for theft due to their size and accessibility.
  • Profiling: Motorcyclists are often pulled over simply for riding a motorcycle or wearing a cut. Don’t believe us? Check out the Motorcycle Profiling Survey.

“At what age are you too old to ride motorcycles?”

Age is just a number, right? When it comes to motorcycling, what’s more important is your physical ability and sharpness of mind. So, whether you’re 18 or 80, if you feel fit and alert, the road is yours!


Safety & Risks: The Hard Truths

A motorcycle rider fully decked out in protective gear takes to the open road.

Motorcycling comes with its risks, but being informed can make a world of difference. From understanding the odds of an accident to the protective power of gear, knowledge is your best defense.

“I’ve heard many riders say ‘it’s not if you go down, it’s WHEN.’ Is this true, do all Motorcyclists crash eventually?” 

This is a common saying in the biking community, emphasizing the importance of always being prepared and cautious.

“What are the odds of surviving a motorcycle crash?”

The odds can vary based on numerous factors, including the severity of the crash, the protective gear worn, and the immediate medical response.

“How do you not get killed on a motorcycle?”

Safe riding practices, continuous learning, and always being alert can significantly reduce the risks.

image of a motorcycle crash scene with a helmet

“Is it possible to survive a 50 mph crash?”

While it’s possible, the severity of injuries can vary. Protective gear and immediate medical attention play crucial roles in survival.

“Why do people ride motorcycles when it is so dangerous?”

The thrill, the sense of freedom, and the community are just a few reasons why many are drawn to motorcycling, despite the risks.

“Why are motorcycles legal if they are so dangerous?

 Like many activities, motorcycling comes with risks, but it’s up to individuals to make informed decisions. Laws are in place to ensure safety standards are met.

“How protective are motorcycle protective suits?”

High-quality protective gear can significantly reduce the risk of severe injuries in the event of an accident.


Accidents & Aftermath: Navigating the Tough Times

Three images of crashes with the text "Crash Aftermath"

Accidents happen, and when they do, it’s essential to know your rights and the best steps to take. Whether it’s understanding the complexities of lane splitting or navigating the aftermath of a crash, we’ve got insights to guide you.

“What is lane splitting and is it legal in Iowa?”

Lane splitting involves a motorcyclist riding between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic. Its legality varies by state, and in Iowa, it’s currently not permitted.

“Who is at fault in a motorcycle accident when lane splitting?”

This can vary based on local laws and the specifics of the accident. In places where lane splitting is legal, the fault might be shared between the motorcyclist and other involved parties.

“How is the family notified after a person dies in a car accident?”

When a person tragically dies in a car accident, the task of notifying the next of kin is typically carried out by local law enforcement or the coroner’s office. The process is handled with utmost sensitivity and care.

Officers are trained to deliver such news in person, rather than over the phone, to provide immediate support and ensure the family’s privacy. They often arrive in pairs and will usually ask to enter the home and ensure that the family is seated before delivering the news. 

Officers also provide information about the incident and guide the family on the next steps, such as identifying the body and retrieving personal belongings.

“How do you survive a motorcycle crash?”

Image of first responders working to save a biker after a crash

Surviving a motorcycle crash often depends on a combination of preparedness, quick thinking, and sometimes, sheer luck.

Here are six tips to increase your chances of survival while on the road:

1. Wear Protective Gear

Always wear a DOT-approved helmet, which can significantly reduce the risk of fatal head injuries. Additionally, wear protective clothing like jackets, gloves, boots, and pants made of abrasion-resistant materials.

2. Stay Alert

Be aware of your surroundings, anticipate potential hazards, and always keep a safe distance from other vehicles.

3. Defensive Riding

Assume that other drivers might not see you. Be prepared to react to their actions.

4. Avoid Target Fixation

Focus on where you want to go, especially in turns or when avoiding obstacles, rather than on the obstacle itself.

5. Practice Emergency Maneuvers

Regularly practice emergency braking and evasive maneuvers to be prepared for unexpected situations.

6. Stay Calm

If a crash is imminent, try to stay as relaxed as possible to reduce the risk of injury. Tense muscles can lead to more severe injuries.

“How does a person survive the aftermath of an accident- physically, emotionally, and financially?”

A police officer investigates the scene of a motorcycle accident

Physically

Seek immediate medical attention, even if you feel fine. Some injuries may not manifest symptoms immediately. Follow all medical advice, attend follow-up appointments, and undergo physical therapy if recommended.

Emotionally

Traumatic events can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other emotional challenges. It’s essential to seek counseling or therapy to process the trauma. Joining support groups can also help, as sharing experiences with others can be therapeutic.

Financially

If the accident was due to someone else’s negligence, consider consulting with a personal injury attorney to understand your rights and potentially seek compensation. Ensure that all medical expenses, repair bills, and any loss of income are documented. Additionally, reach out to your insurance company to understand the coverage and benefits available to you.

“How does insurance typically handle motorcycle accidents differently than car accidents?”

In my nearly 40 years of practicing law in Iowa, I’ve observed that insurance companies sometimes treat motorcycle accidents differently than car accidents, primarily due to the perceived risks associated with motorcycling. Here are some key differences:

  • Bias Against Motorcyclists: There’s an unfortunate stereotype that motorcyclists are “risk-takers” or “reckless.” This bias can influence an insurance adjuster’s perception of the accident, potentially placing more blame on the motorcyclist than warranted.
  • Severity of Injuries: Motorcycle accidents often result in more severe injuries compared to car accidents. This can lead to higher medical bills, which insurance companies might be hesitant to cover in full.
  • Total Loss: Motorcycles are more likely to be declared a total loss after an accident compared to cars. This can affect the payout from the insurance company.

Riding & Maintenance: Keeping Your Bike Happy

A dedicated rider with arm tattoos cleans and maintains his motorcycle.

A well-maintained bike is a joy to ride. From understanding the dynamics of group rides to the simple steps of regular upkeep, we’ll ensure your motorcycle stays in tip-top shape.

“What is the best way to make sure my motorcycle is well maintained?”

Maintaining your motorcycle is crucial not only for its longevity but also for your safety on the road. 

8 expert tips to ensure your bike is always in top condition:

1. Regular Inspections 

Before every ride, do a quick visual inspection. Check for any leaks, ensure lights and signals are working, and look over the tires for any signs of wear or damage.

2. Oil Changes

Just like cars, motorcycles need regular oil changes. Refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended intervals and type of oil.

3. Tire Pressure

Check the tire pressure regularly. Riding with improperly inflated tires can affect the bike’s handling and can lead to premature tire wear.

4. Brake Checks

Ensure that the brake pads and discs are in good condition. If you hear any unusual noises or feel any changes in the braking performance, get it checked immediately.

5. Chain Maintenance

A well-lubricated and adjusted chain ensures smooth rides. Clean and lubricate the chain regularly and check for proper tension.

6. Battery Care

Ensure the battery terminals are clean and free from corrosion. If your motorcycle has a lead-acid battery, check the fluid levels.

7. Seasonal Care

If you’re storing your motorcycle for the winter, make sure to winterize it. This includes adding a fuel stabilizer, disconnecting the battery, and covering the bike to protect it from dust and moisture.

8. Professional Service

While many maintenance tasks can be done at home, it’s essential to have your motorcycle serviced by professionals at the intervals recommended in the owner’s manual. They can spot potential issues that might be missed during regular home inspections.

Remember, a well-maintained motorcycle not only ensures a smooth ride but also keeps you safe on the road. Regular maintenance can also save you money in the long run by preventing major issues.

“Should motorcycles ride side by side?” 

No. Riding side by side does not allow motorcyclists enough space to avoid dangers. While riding side-by-side may not be a great idea, riding “staggered” is much safer. 

How to Ride in Staggered Riding Formation

In a staggered riding formation… 

  • The first rider would ride close to the center line. 
  • The second rider would ride close to the fog line, and at least 1.5 seconds behind the lead rider. 
  • The third rider would be close to the center line, and at least 3 seconds behind the lead rider and 1.5 seconds behind the second rider. 

Image demonstrating the proper way to ride staggered formation on a motorcycle

In staggered formation, the bike directly ahead of you must be at least 3 seconds ahead. The bike in the “staggered” lane should be at least 1.5 seconds ahead of you. This allows for better visibility and more space for maneuvering.

“Can a motorcycle slip on a banana peel?” 

Cinematic image of Mario from Mario Kart driving a motorcycle about to hit a banana peal. AI Art by Bing AI and Canva AI

It might sound like a scene from a cartoon, but in reality, any small object or slick spot can pose a hazard. Always be alert!


Wrapping It Up

From the fun and quirky to the serious and technical, motorcycling is a world filled with questions. And as we’ve seen today, it’s not just about the ride. It’s about understanding the bigger picture, from the laws that govern the roads to the community that makes it all worthwhile.

Join the Conversation!

Did this guide spark more questions? Or maybe you’ve got some insights of your own to share? Dive into the comments and join the conversation. And if you’ve got a fellow rider who could benefit from this knowledge, spread the word. Until next time, keep the rubber side down and ride safe!

If you’ve been injured in an accident, ride with us. Contact The Biker Lawyers for a free consultation.

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.

How to Avoid Crashing a Motorcycle

How to Avoid Crashing a Motorcycle

Top 10 Rules of the Road: Avoiding Motorcycle Crashes Like a Pro

On two wheels, safety isn’t just important, it’s everything. For that very reason, we’ve crafted a list of the top 10 lifesaving rules to keep you upright on your ride. These aren’t rocket science but following them religiously can significantly trim down the chances of a nasty surprise. This is how to avoid crashing a motorcycle.

Here’s a quick rundown of the tips. Once you check it out, keep scrolling for a bit more about our logic for each.

1. The Cardinal Rule: Always Be on Alert

Image from the perspective of a motorcyclist demonstrating alert perceptions while riding

Think every driver out there is out to get you. Assume that they’re going to make a wrong move that could put you in harm’s way. That guy cruising towards the intersection? Expect a sudden left turn. That woman at the crossroads? Be ready for her to bolt just as you get there. Speaking of Intersections…

Image of motorcyclists demonstrating how to safely cross an intersection

2. Beware the Intersection

Intersections are like the Wild West of roads. They’re unpredictable. Even if you don’t see any cars, slow down. Remember, preparedness is key, and it’s easier to respond to surprises when you’re not blazing through like a comet.

Image of a frightened driver with a focus on his eyes.

3. Don’t Trust the Eyes

It might look like a driver has locked eyes with you, but here’s the truth: they’re often looking right past you. You’re on two wheels, they’re scanning for four. You’re practically invisible to them.

Image of a car turning in an intersection.

4. Trust the Wheels

The wheels, though, they don’t lie. A driver’s eyes might deceive you, but the wheels give it away. If they twitch, you twitch and prepare for them to burst into your path.

Image of a motorcyclist surrounded by cars with the potential to turn into a "lethal-Left" situation

5. Prepare for the Lethal Left

Always assume the oncoming car is going to make a sudden left turn right in front of you. Ease off the gas, hover over the brakes, and be ready for some fast action.

Image of a motorcycle that has crashed.

6. Find a Shield

Whenever possible, go through intersections with another vehicle beside you. It’s not foolproof, but if someone’s gonna run a red light, better they hit your metal buddy than you.

Close-up image of tire tread

7. Check Your Ride

Give your tires a once-over before you roll out. Badly inflated tires can cause serious trouble at high speed, and you don’t want a blowout on the open road.

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

8. Control Your Space

If someone’s tailgating you, wave them back. If they don’t take the hint, pull over and let them speed away. They’re a hazard you don’t need.

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

9. Create Your Buffer

If a car passes you and pulls in too close, ease back and re-establish your safety zone. You need space to react if something suddenly appears in your path.

Image of Pete Leehey and Dan Matzdorff demonstrating proper distancing while riding a motorcycle

10. Keep Your Distance

Don’t tailgate. Keep a solid three-second safety buffer between you and the traffic ahead. You want space to react, not a windshield for a face mask.

Wrap Up

These are the rules of the road, the biker’s bible for staying safe out there. But hey, we’re all human, and stuff happens. If you ever find yourself in a scrape, get medical help pronto, and once that’s taken care of, reach out to pro motorcycle accident attorneys like Pete Leehey and Dan Matzdorff. They’ve been there, done that, and can guide you on what to do next.Call to action Image- A motorcycle riding down a highway with text encouraging the viewer to call The Biker Lawyers for a free consultation