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Motorcycle Helmet Fact Sheet

by Staff Writer


When motorcycles were first built in 1885, there was little need to worry about helmets, as the top speed was low. As time went on and people found a need for speed on motorcycles, the accident fatalities began to climb. In 1953, Professor Charles F. Lombard patented a helmet designed for absorbing energy with padding to protect against impacts. Since then, there has been much debate regarding safety regulations and helmet laws. The designs for motorcycle helmets have also been changing constantly. They come in many shapes, sizes, colors and designs. One thing they all have in common is that they all have to pass standard safety regulations set by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

About Motorcycle Helmets:

  1. Brain injuries are the number one cause of death in motorcycle fatalities. The major cause of motorcycle accidents is the failure of other motorists to recognize the motorcyclist on the road.

  2. The first helmet was designed for aviation. Before then, pilots were wearing leather caps with fur lining.

  3. In 1974, the DOT enacted motor vehicle safety standards for helmets. Standards have to be met, and motorcycle helmets must have a DOT-approved sticker in them before the helmets leave the manufacturer.

  4. Helmet laws differ from state to state, and each state has undergone many changes with helmet laws. While some lawmakers believe a helmet should be required, others believe that wearing the helmet should be the choice of the motorcycle rider.

  5. Currently, only three states have no mandatory helmet laws. Many states require that any rider from the age of 17 to 21 wear a helmet; however, 20 states currently require that all motorcyclists wear helmets.

  6. Choosing the right helmet is a matter of safety as well. You will need it to fit properly and provide good visibility. When purchasing a motorcycle helmet, you will need to try it on. It may take trying several before you choose the one that is right for you. If it is too tight, then it can cause damage and be very uncomfortable. If it is too loose, then it can come off at any time. You will want to try on a few to get one that is comfortable for you. A good helmet that provides clear visibility can help to prevent accidents. A helmet that blocks any part of your vision, including peripheral vision, is not a safe helmet.


  1. Now that you have a few facts about motorcycle helmets, you are ready to purchase the helmet that is right for you. Remember to look for the DOT-approved sticker inside the helmet. Try on as many motorcycle helmets as you need to be sure that the fit is secure without being too tight. When you try on your helmet, be sure that your vision is clear and not blocked by any part of the helmet. Another option you may consider is to get a correct measurement of your head to get an accurate size. You can also try on some helmet liners at some locations to get an accurate size of your head. After you have all of your safety equipment, you can get on your motorcycle and enjoy a safe ride.

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