Forget the debate, wear them yourself and encourage others to do the same.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Mar. 23, 2009
The rider that wore this helmet still contributes to rider blogs. Without it, can you say “Dirt Nap
As I complete my last searches of the early morning for an upcoming CleanMPG News Story, I continually run into a very depressing type of “hit” and one that makes me wonder why there is not more serious effort into the promotion of riding a motorcycle with a helmet and proper riding gear. I literally see tens of these “stories” on a daily basis along with the standard spring rush by State governments trying to repeal or remove language making it mandatory for motorcycle riders of all ages to wear a helmet.
Here is just a sampling of the “hits” I encounter regarding bike fatalities. These are just a snippet of those that have occurred within the last 48-hours.
March 22, 2009 -- Fort Collins, CO - The State Patrol says two people are dead after being thrown from the motorcycle they were riding...
The State Patrol says they don't believe speed was a factor in the Sunday morning crash. It's also unclear whether the victims were wearing helmets, although there was a helmet at the scene of the accident.
March 22, 2009 -- Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Two nights ago, Lake Charles resident Jerald Henderson lost his life in motorcycle accident traveling on Thompson Road in Moss Bluff. He was not wearing a helmet and wearing a helmet may have saved his life.
March 22, 2009 -- Franklin, Ohio - A motorcyclist was seriously injured when his vehicle went off the road at the interchange of Interstate 75 and Ohio 73 Sunday, March 22.
Dale E. Smart, 44, of Dayton, lost control of the motorcycle, overturned, and slid off the right side of the roadway about 1:20 p.m. Sunday, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol. Smart was thrown from the motorcycle and he was not wearing a helmet, officials said.
March 21, 2009 -- Boise, ID - Jared Cameron Nuxoll, 32, the driver, and Burke Anthony "Tony" Hudelson, 54, his passenger, were thrown about 10 PM Friday when Nuxoll's motorcycle left the road and struck a tree near Surprise Way, west of Cliffsedge Avenue in Southeast Boise, Boise police reported.
Neither man was wearing a helmet, according to police.
How many times do we have to ask a motorcycle rider to “please wear a helmet” before we all finally “get it”?
Some simply physics may help. A fall from just 6 feet onto your head into a hard barrier is all it takes to kill you. Hitting something head first at 16 mph is like falling from a single story building! We simply were not designed to survive unless properly protected. Remember that the speeds we are speaking of are just 16 mph, not 30, 50 or even 70 mph.
A few FAQ’s from the SNELL Foundation - Helmet Testing and Certification Corporation.
Research shows most of the cycling fatalities are attributed to head injuries. In a severe accident, your skull may be fractured and your brain may be torn by penetrating objects and bone fragments. Brain injuries can also occur by violent impacts that leave the skull undamaged. To protect yourself against those head injuries, Snell Memorial Foundation urges you to wear a helmet when you are riding.
Why wear a helmet?
Auto racing, motorcycling, bicycling, skiing and any activity that incorporates speed, agility and a head all impose risks of head injury leading to death or permanent disability. Helmets are the single most effective means of preventing these injuries.
What's the difference between a $100 Snell certified helmet and a $400 Snell certified Helmet.
While helmets are primarily a protective device, the true protective capabilities of a helmet, if needed will only come into play for about 2 to 4 milliseconds during the lifetime of the helmet. This leaves a lot of time for that helmet to be doing nothing more than sitting around on a users head. Producing a product that meets the standards is not really very difficult. Producing a helmet that people will buy and wear, and will consistently meet the standards is significantly more difficult. The Snell standards do not measure factors like comfort, ventilation, brand recognition or style, and only indirectly look at fit, weight, materials and workmanship. These are factors that frequently drive helmet cost.
SNELL 2005 – One of the most rigorous helmet certifications achievable
There are four reasons for you to be interested in this Standard:
- The use of motorcycles and other motorized vehicles imposes risks of death or permanent impairment due to head injury.
- The proper use of protective helmets can minimize the risk of death or permanent impairment.
- The protective capacity of a helmet is difficult to measure, particularly at the time of purchase or use.
- Snell certification backed by ongoing random sample testing identifies those helmet models providing and maintaining the highest levels of head protection.
Four of the most critical elements affecting a helmet’s protective properties are:
- Impact management — how well the helmet protects against collisions with large objects.
- Helmet positional stability — whether the helmet will be in place, on the head, when it’s needed.
- Retention system strength — whether the chin straps are sufficiently strong to hold the helmet throughout a head impact.
- Extent of Protection — the area of the head protected by the helmet.
This Standard describes simple tests for all four of these items. However, the tests for the second item, helmet stability, of necessity presume that the helmet is well matched to the wearer’s head and that it has been carefully adjusted to obtain the best fit possible. Unless you take similar care in the selection and fitting of your own helmet, you may not obtain the level of protection that current headgear can provide.
There are several other important aspects regarding motorcycle helmets including the detailed impact test criteria that should be understood. You can downloaded and read about the details from the following: SNELL m2005 Helmet Protection Standard
There is also the Governments DOT certification which uses similar testing procedures but is considered to include less rigorous and/or effective testing criteria.
An inexpensive helmet need not be an unsafe helmet
The most important item with regards to a helmet besides wearing one at all times is that it meets or exceeds a SNELL or DOT (preferably both) certification and is visible. Black would not be a recommended color due to visibility concerns but if that color is the only one you will wear, get black! Also, an uncomfortable helmet or non-aesthetically pleasing one will be more than likely left on the shelf so a proper fit and comfort should be a high priority. And for those more concerned with image, buy one that looks “Cool” if that is what it takes to wear it
A small sampling of manufacturers with helmets of every type and price include Shoei, Aria, AGV, Nolan, Caberg. One of the least expensive is HJC whose US headquarters is located in Cerritos, CA. Since 1992, HJC has succeeded in maintaining the status as the #1 selling helmet brand in North America. Along with its sales success, HJC offers high-end featured helmets at prices the average consumer can afford.
And a great choice for those looking for a street and snowmobile convertible, full-face helmet with decent ventilation that still meets or exceeds both SNELL and DOT certifications is the HJC CL-15. This is one of the least expensive models available that meet all of the criteria but again, it should not be considered if it does not fit you properly.
Minus the details, the CL-15 is comfortable SNELL 2005 and DOT certified full face helmet with an MSRP range from $129.95 for a solid to $139.95 for a younger racing “look”.
A few HJC CL-15 color combinations.
These same helmets can be found on E-Bay from vendors looking to move a given brand new CL-15 “Session” helmet for as little as $59.95 + shipping.
All said, do your homework, purchase a helmet with dual certifications that fits comfortably, looks good for your individual style and WEAR IT.