The number one cause of fatalities and permanent disability in motorcycle accidents are head injuries.  Even though it is impossible to be protected from every head injury, insuring that you have proper protection will help prevent most injuries.  Most helmets are perfectly acceptable.  However, some helmets are not meant for protection.  These novelty helmets can be potentially life threatening if you are wearing one and think it is going to protect you in an accident. For this very reason, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires all helmets sol d in the U.S. to fulfill all of the requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard.   However, novelty helmets are not subject to this law. 

Nearly  one million novelty helmets are sold in American every year.  These helmets are immensely popular because of their unique styles (such as the German Army-style helmets), and their low price.  The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has conducted a study that showed that 0 out of 7 tested novelty helmets provided enough protection to prevent a fatal head injury.  This shows how important it is to make sure your helmet is DOT certified and not a novelty helmet.  These following tips will help you distinguish between a DOT certified helmet and a novelty helmet.

  • Sticker—  All DOT helmets have a DOT label and sticker
  • Chinstrap—DOT helmets will have a chinstrap riveted into the helmet while novelty helmets have weak or no chinstraps
  • Lining—DOT helmets will have a firm, one-inch-thick layer of foam while novelty helmets have little to no padding
  • Weight—DOT helmets will weigh about three pounds while novelty helmets will be noticeably lighter
  • Attachments—DOT helmets cannot have anything extending more than .2 inches from the helmet while novelty helmets may have horns, spikes or other decorations
  • Coverage—DOT helmets will have complete skull coverage while novelty helmets may leave part of the head uncovered

Have You Been Injured In A Motorcycle Accident?

If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident you need to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.

You can also order your FREE copy of our book, "KC Biker Bible."

James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.