Any rider knows the thrill of riding a motorcycle on the open highway; however, most motorcyclists also understand the dangers of riding. Choosing proper riding equipment is essential to maintaining a safe presence on the road. When shopping for a jacket, gloves, goggles and, of course, a helmet, exercise caution and perform your due diligence before committing to a purchase. The most important piece of equipment a rider will buy is a helmet. To choose a safe motorcycle helmet, look for:
- Internal fit. Before buying a helmet, measure your head size. Be certain to find a helmet that fits snugly but not too tight. Buy a helmet with adjustable cheek pads to find the perfect fit.
- DOT standard. Purchase a helmet that meets the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) safety standards.
- Snell sticker. Look for a helmet that also meets the safety test standards of the Snell Memorial Foundation.
- Full-face. A full-face helmet offers the maximum protection for your face.
- Reflectivity. Make sure your helmet offers an adequate amount of retro-reflective material.
- Peripheral vision. When wearing the helmet, make sure you have a full range of vision.
- Chin strap. Make sure the chinstrap fits tightly and isn’t worn down.
- Hard outer shell. A solid helmet shell should absorb shock and lessen the force in the event your head hits the ground.