Did you know that there’s something even better than having excellent motorcycle insurance coverage? Honestly, we hope you take advantage of both, but if you choose only one, we hope you choose motorcycle safety gear. There’s plenty of stylish gear out there, but the smart biker will think beyond the brand to make sure to have physical protection in the case of a crash. Head-to-toe protection is extremely important, starting with the head.
You don’t need to take a course in human anatomy to know that your head is the most vulnerable and vital area to protect. Yet many bikers forego helmets. In fact, according to 2014 studies, “Helmets are about 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries.” There’s no doubt about it: helmets save lives.
Understanding Differing Helmet Standards
When you go out helmet shopping, you’ll probably notice that some are approved by the DOT, while others exhibit Snell decals. The DOT, Department of Transportation, standards are different from those of the Snell Memorial Foundation, so it’s important to understand the difference between the two types of certification. All motorcycle helmets sold in the U.S. are legally required to meet the standards of the DOT.
In order for a helmet to bear the “Snell” decal, though, it must pass even more rigorous tests that have been developed by a non-profit organization called the Snell Memorial Foundation. The thorough Snell testing includes 7 test types, including flame resistance, shell penetration, and impact tests. Only after technicians verify that a helmet meets all Snell standards can that helmet bear the “Snell” label. Clearly, then, a helmet wearing the “Snell” logo is going to have been more thoroughly tested for safety than one that has been approved only by the DOT.
Ensuring Proper Helmet Selection
In addition to choosing a helmet that has passed rigorous safety tests, you’ll want to be sure your helmet meets a few more qualifications.
• First, you want to make sure it fits you properly. A well-selected helmet will grip the top and sides of your head as well as your cheeks and jaw.
• Second, you’ll want to purchase a new helmet instead of a used one to make sure that your helmet’s safety has not been compromised by an accident.
• Third, you need to consider more than style preference when it comes to choosing your brand new helmet: the more coverage your helmet offers, the more protection it can give you. So instead of a half or three-quarter-shell style, go for the full-face design. Go big or go home, right?
• Fourth, you need to replace your helmet periodically because its ability to protect you will be compromised due to regular use. If you ride your bike often, you may want to replace your safety gear every year. If you’re more of a hobby rider, perhaps you can go a little longer between upgrades.
Continue reading with Part 2.
Motorcycle Safety Series
The Nicholas Insurance Agency, led by Greg Nicholas, is a family owned business serving the York county, Pennsylvania region. In the insurance business since 1981, Greg Nicholas helps families, businesses and individuals understand the value of different insurance products and make wise decisions when selecting the best insurance products for their specific situations.
Offering exclusively Allstate insurance products, the Nicholas Agency provides auto, homeowners, rental and landlord insurance as well as life & disability, recreational vehicle, motorcycle and personal liability insurance.
For more information, visit our two York, PA locations at Westgate Plaza or York Marketplace or call us at (717) 764-2024.
Image credits: Top © Olympixel/Fotolia; 2nd © Jean-Marie Guyon/Fotolia; 3rd © Eugene Onischenko/Fotolia.