In most states, it is legal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet as long as you are at least 21 years of age.
Only 19 states have universal motorcycle helmet laws that require all riders to wear helmets. California is one of those.
The Importance of Motorcycle Helmets.
Helmets create an additional layer for the head and thus protect the wearer from some of the more severe forms of brain injury. A helmet reduces the risk of serious head and brain injuries by reducing the impact of a force or collision to the head.
What to Look for When Buying a Motorcycle Helmet.
In California, you will need a DOT-approved helmet. This means that it complies with the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) standards.
You also need to select between full face and half face motorcycle helmets. It is important to understand that not all half-face helmets are DOT approved.
If you want to purchase the safest gear, you should consider a Snell approved helmet. This type of helmet is more expensive. However, Snell implements go through more rigorous safety tests than the DOT approved helmets.
We recommend you avoid used helmets. Used helmets could already have sustained damage, which can weaken their protection. New helmets may cost more, but the difference is insignificant if you consider the medical cost for head injuries.
Another important thing to consider is that your helmet should fit appropriately. It should fit snugly around your entire head. For this reason, it is important to try them on your head first, before purchasing.
When to Replace Your Helmet.
According to the Snell Memorial Foundation, helmets should be replaced every 5 years, not just after a crash.
Besides the usual wear and tear of the components of the helmet. You need to consider damage due to falls. For example, if your helmet falls off the back of a moving motorcycle, the hit may comprise the helmet structural integrity.
Cost of a Motorcycle Helmet.
The cost can vary depending on the preferred style, safety standard, and additional features.
For a DOT-approved helmet, the starting price point is usually around $125.
Remember the helmet is the most valuable safety gear for any motorcyclists. Wearing a motorcycle helmet correctly can reduce the risk of death by almost 40% and the risk of severe injury by over 70%. The effectiveness of motorcycle helmets in reducing head injuries is in part a result of the quality of the helmets.