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Novelty helmets provide no protection for motorcyclists


Posted by Thomas Pettinicchi of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Apr 23, 2013 in Motorcycle Accidents

There are many people across Connecticut who cannot wait for the long summer days so that they can take their motorcycles out on the open road. Motorcycle riders enjoy the freedom of being on their bikes, but they are also very aware that they can be seriously hurt in an accident caused by a negligent driver. Too many motorists do not take the necessary steps to safely and responsibly share the road with bikes and this can often result in a tragic and painful motorcycle accident.

While motorcyclists in Connecticut are only required to wear a helmet if they are 17 years old or younger, many riders still opt to wear protective headgear while riding. In the event of a crash, a motorcyclist can be tossed off their bike and suffer catastrophic head and brain injuries. Helmets can protect riders in these cases, but not all helmets are actually as effective as people think.

Across the country, more than 800,000 novelty helmets are sold to riders every year. These novelty helmets may be a little more stylish and are often cheaper than other helmets, but the pros of these helmets come with one very significant con. Novelty helmets rarely meet federal safety standards and therefore provide little, if any, protection to a rider in the event of an accident.

People in states like Connecticut, where helmets are not required for every rider, may think that wearing a novelty helmet is better than wearing no helmet at all. However, reports indicate that this may not be true. Novelty helmets often have faulty straps, flawed designs and inadequate levels of padding. In a crash, the helmets either fly off a person's head or fail to provide any sort of protection from an impact whatsoever.

Many safety advocates argue that these novelty helmets should not be made available to the public unless they meet federal safety standards. Other people say that manufacturers need to make it clearer to consumers that the helmets do not provide any type of protection in a crash. In any crash that involves a motorcyclist, the risk of a rider suffering a serious head injury can be very high so avoiding a crash in the first place should be each motorist's top priority.

Source: FCIR, "Booming Sales of Novelty Helmets Boost Motorcycle Deaths," Rick Schmitt, April 22, 2013