How to Choose the Right Motorcycle Helmet

How to Choose the Right Motorcycle Helmet

The California DMV reports that in collisions occurring at 30 miles per hour or less, a DOT-compliant motorcycle helmet may reduce the risk of a head injury by 50%. Choosing the right motorcycle helmet can save your life.

For a motorcycle helmet to be effective, you need the right helmet. Not all helmets are created the same, and several factors may impact which helmet is right for you.

LA Century Law represents victims of motorcycle accidents in San Bernardino, California. Let’s talk about how to choose the right motorcycle helmet.

Considerations for Buying the Right Motorcycle Helmet

When you’re choosing a motorcycle helmet, there are two main considerations. First, you need a helmet that complies with the law. California has standards for motorcycle helmets. Your helmet must meet or exceed these standards. Second, you need a helmet that fits you correctly and comfortably.

What to Look for When Choosing a Motorcycle Helmet

Here are eight things to look for when choosing a motorcycle helmet:

1. DOT-compliant

Choose a helmet that is U.S. Department of Transportation compliant. It should be easy to find options that meet DOT standards because California law prohibits the sale of helmets that don’t comply. However, always be sure to check that the helmet you’re considering meets DOT standards.

California law adopts U.S. federal standards for motorcycle helmets. California Vehicle Code § 27802 incorporates 49 C.F.R. § 571.218 (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218) as a minimum standard for helmet safety.

Helmets must be labeled as meeting federal safety standards. The label is the manufacturer’s certification of compliance. It is illegal to sell a motorcycle helmet that doesn’t comply. Beware of fake labels! Sometimes, a helmet will say that it complies with DOT when it does not. The compliance label shouldn’t be a sticker, and it shouldn’t be easy to remove.

2. A helmet you can fasten

California Vehicle Code § 27803 says that a motorcycle helmet must be fastened on your head with the helmet straps. Make sure that you can fasten the straps on your motorcycle helmet.

With the chin straps fastened, you shouldn’t be able to remove the helmet.

3. It shouldn’t be too loose

Your helmet must fit comfortably. It should be secure, without excessive movement in any direction. If a helmet is too loose, it may not protect you properly in a crash. It may come off completely, and so it’s not going to offer you any protection.

If the helmet tilts back on your head, it is too loose. It shouldn’t rock or slide. Heads come in different shapes, so you may need to try different options to find the right fit. Helmet manufacturers offer different sizes and shapes for foam liners, including round, round oval, and long oval.

4. It shouldn’t be too tight, either

If the helmet is too tight, it may create uncomfortable pressure points. The pressure could cause a headache or prevent you from rotating your head normally to observe traffic as you ride.

Remember that a helmet can be too tight, even though you need your helmet to fit securely.

5. The right position

A motorcycle helmet should fit squarely on the head. The eye ports should be no more than an inch above the eyebrows. The helmet should not tip forward or backward. It shouldn’t move when you turn your head from side to side.

6. There is no damage

You should never purchase or wear a damaged motorcycle helmet. Damage may compromise the function of the helmet. Make sure that your helmet is free of material defects like cracks and dents.

7. It works with your glasses

Whether you wear prescription eyeglasses, or you want to wear sunglasses when you ride, make sure the helmet that you choose is compatible. Some helmets are made to work with glasses, so choose the helmet that is right for you if you plan to wear glasses when you ride.

8, Make sure you can see

As you choose your helmet, check your peripheral vision. Being able to see the road is so important. Make sure that you have a clear field of vision so that you can ride safely.

What Makes a Motorcycle Helmet DOT-compliant?

49 C.F.R. § 571.218 creates standards for motorcycle helmets that are DOT-compliant. DOT regulations cover many aspects of a helmet’s materials and design. There are standards for the dimensions, size, and contour of a helmet. There are maximums for acceleration in impact attenuation testing. A helmet may not have rigid projections from its shell or protrusions more than an allowed maximum. There are minimums for peripheral vision clearance.

These are just some of the many requirements for a motorcycle helmet to be DOT-compliant.

The design and testing requirements mean that when you choose a DOT-compliant helmet, your helmet meets at least these minimum standards. When used properly, the helmet may protect you from serious head trauma in the event of a crash.

What’s wrong with a motorcycle helmet that is not DOT-compliant?

A helmet that is not DOT-compliant may have padding that is too thin. Its materials may not be strong enough to protect you in a crash. DOT helmet regulations are research-informed and targeted to reduce head trauma in motorcycle crashes. If your helmet doesn’t meet these qualifications, there is a good chance that it offers less protection in the event of a crash than an approved model.

Buying the right motorcycle helmet is the first step to protecting you from head trauma in the event of a motorcycle accident. With more than 1,800 lives saved each year because of motorcycle helmets, having the right helmet could save your life.

Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

LA Century Law represents motorcycle accident victims. We want to help you get compensated.

If you have been hurt in a collision, message us online or call to speak to a lawyer about your case.

Our Locations


1880 Century Park East, Suite 1101 Los Angeles, CA 90067

Call Google Maps

San Bernardino Office

473 E. Carnegie Drive, Suite 200, San Bernardino, CA 92408

Call Google Maps

Valley Office

18321 Ventura Blvd., Suite 800 Tarzana, CA 91356

Call Google Maps

West Covina Office

1050 Lakes Dr West Covina, CA 91790

Call Google Maps

Dallas Office

8117 Preston Road Dallas, TX 75225

Call Google Maps

Austin Office

111 Congress Ave., Suite 500 Austin, TX 78704

Call Google Maps

Houston Office

1700 Post Oak Boulevard Houston, TX, 77056

Call Google Maps

Sitemap | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Copyright ©

Free Consultation
green dotAvailable 24/7