As discussed on the “Illinois Motorcyclist Safety And Helmet Use” page, the use of motorcycle helmets greatly reduces the potential incidence of head injuries – including traumatic brain injuries (TBI) – and by extension motorcyclist fatalities.
While wearing a motorcycle helmet is a notable safety benefit, there are various aspects of helmet use that are important to consider.
One aspect is whether the motorcycle helmet meets all DOT requirements. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on its “motorcycles” page, provides a document (“How to Identify Unsafe Helmets”) that discusses the issue.
Another issue to consider is “helmet fit.” The safety benefit of wearing a helmet may be impaired if the helmet does not fit properly.
Additionally, when to replace a motorcycle helmet is a critical issue. Helmet manufacturers usually provide guidelines as to when a motorcycle helmet needs to be replaced. Often, replacement guidelines are based upon such factors such as general damage, whether the helmet has been involved in an accident, and the age of the helmet. Wearing a helmet that is in any way impaired could subtract from its ability to provide safety benefits during an accident.