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Helmets save lives: Here is what you need to know about yours

While helmets aren't the perfect solution for motorcyclists looking to avoid injury, a helmet can help prevent some injuries from being as bad as they would have been if they had not been worn.

Helmets work, which is why most motorcyclists are asked to wear them. There are several parts of a helmet that protect you including:

  • The outer shell
  • The impact-absorbing liner
  • The comfort padding
  • The retention system (the chin strap)

Each of these parts of the helmet are important, because they help absorb impact when you hit your head. The outer shell disperses energy from the impact. The liner helps absorb shock and cushion your head. The padding keeps your helmet on snugly, and the retention system makes sure it doesn't fly off in an accident.

If you're going to wear a helmet, it needs to have the right fit. Helmets come in multiple sizes from XX-small through XX-large, and perhaps in other sizes through custom orders. To make sure the helmet that you choose fits you correctly, check that the helmet fits snugly. Until it's in place, it may feel a bit tight. You don't want to wear a helmet that moves around or up and down, because it won't give you the best protection in a crash.

A good helmet's design is made to:

  • Have cheek pads that touch your cheeks without pressing on them
  • Touch the brow bone and temples without gaps
  • Stay in place, not push up or down due to an ill-fitting neck roll
  • Stay strong against wind. It should not touch your nose or face when you press on the chin piece.

What should you do if you are involved in a crash while wearing your helmet?

Once your helmet has been through an impact, it's necessary to replace it. No matter how serious the collision was, your helmet did absorb some amount of impact, which means that it could be damaged. After a crash, the least you should do is take your helmet to the manufacturer for repairs. In most cases, it's a good idea to replace the helmet completely. Then, if you're in a crash again, you'll have the full benefit of the helmet's protective layers instead of layers that could already be broken down or damaged.

Motorcycle crashes are going to happen. If you're involved in one, a helmet could be what saves your life and prevents a severe brain injury.

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