Although most motorcyclists have accepted wearing a helmet as a part of their ride, it is not as simple as just putting on any hard hat and going for a ride.
For your safety, you need to know the facts about motorcycle helmets.
Know the State Laws
Illinois does not require motorcyclists to wear a helmet and is only one of four states that make wearing a helmet an option. If you do choose to not protect yourself with a motorcycle helmet, understand that if you cross out of Illinois into another state, you will likely be in violation of that state’s mandatory laws.
Wear a Helmet Anyway
Motorcycle accidents are unpredictable and happen on Chicago streets every day. With nothing else protecting you from serious brain injury, the best safety precaution you can do is protect your head with a helmet.
Choose the Right Helmet
When looking for a helmet, make sure that it meets the minimum safety standards offered by the Department of Transportation (DOT) or by Snell. The safety standards can be found on the inside of the helmet and ensures that the brand and model you choose have met the rigid test standards for both of these organizations.
Make Sure the Helmet Fits Properly
You should try helmets on to ensure a proper fit. Manufacturers use different criteria when determining size, so each one will be different. A helmet for motorcycle riding should fit squarely on your head, with no more than room for two fingers space. The cheek pads need to be touching, but gaps should exist between the pads for the brow and your temples.
Your Helmet May Need to Be Replaced
After three or four years, the protective qualities of a helmet may deteriorate and no longer be effective. Replace your helmet at this time or after you have been in an accident.
Why Helmets Are So Important for Motorcyclists
One of the leading causes of a fatal motorcycle accident is traumatic brain injury. This can occur from being thrown from the bike after impact and hitting the ground at great force. There are varying degrees of brain injury which could cause nothing more than a slight concussion or injury so severe that it leads to death. Studies done by John Hopkins University indicate that these types of injuries drop 65% when a helmet is worn, while fatal accidents are reduced by 37%. You may also be reducing your risk of cervical spine injury and paralysis. (Learn about how Helmets Protect from Brain Injury.)
Seeking Compensation After a Motorcycle Crash
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, chances are the injuries are serious. Speak with a Chicago motorcycle accident attorney about the accident and what your options are for compensation. Call Willens Law Offices at (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation.