According to the New York State Health Department, both passengers and riders of motorcycles must wear helmets at all times. Choosing the right helmet is also important to ensure you are fully protected in the event of an accident.
There are many factors that must go into your decision, from the type of helmet to the way it fits. This guide explains what to look for so you can make the best decision for your needs.
Only choose a helmet that has a Department of Transportation (DOT) certification on the label. This shows that the helmet has most likely been tested for safety and has no outstanding consumer complaints against it. So-called novelty helmets will not offer the right protection and will not be DOT-certified as a result. Unsafe helmets are often thin and lightweight and may have decorations, such as spikes, extending more than two-tenths of an inch off the helmet.
Helmets are available in three different shapes, which are round, oval, and intermediate oval, to accommodate as many riders as possible. You can determine the shape of your by having another person look down at it when you are seated or kneeling. If you are unsure of your exact head shape, try on all three helmet types to determine which offers the best fit.
Your helmet must fit snugly but not put pressure on your head. It should also not shift around when you move your head or sit too low on your forehead. Measure your head with a cloth measuring tape by wrapping it above your eyebrows and taking it around the thickest point at the back of your head. Take note of the measurement and compare it to a helmet sizing chart, which should be available in the shop where you buy your helmet.