While the country has seen a dramatic drop in the numbers of fatal accidents involving light duty trucks and passenger cars, unfortunately the same can’t be said about motorcycle accident statistics. Motorcycle fatalities have continued to rise, and according to the most recent study (2008), there were 5,290 fatal motorcycle accidents in one year – that’s nearly 14 percent of all fatal accidents nationwide.
Helmets provide two forms of motorcycle accident protection:
• The outer shell protects against abrasion and puncture – without it, your skull and your skin would scrape across the road.
• The inner liner absorbs shock by collapsing slowly on impact. If not for this, all the shock energy on impact would be transferred directly to your head.
The inner liner and the outer shell sacrifice themselves by absorbing impact forces into the helmet. That’s why, if a helmet has been damaged in an accident or heavily dropped, it should be replaced – it’s protective values will have been lost. The inner shock-absorbing liner is made of “Styrofoam” (expanded polystyrene foam).
The outer shell of a helmet is made of either injection molded plastic or fiberglass. While injection molded helmets are cheaper, fiberglass helmets are a lot stronger. Plus, you can add decals and paint them without causing any damaging effects.
NB: It’s essential to have a properly fitting chin strap to ensure that the helmet stays on your head.