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In today’s article we are going to talk about what many consider to be the most important piece of motorcycle safety equipment that you will ever buy, a motorcycle helmet. While the State of Florida has, what many consider, very liberal helmet laws, as an attorney I encourage you to wear a helmet for the sake of safety and because if you are involved in an accident, the more responsible you appear, to the jury, the better your odds are of winning.

The laws being what they are this may not seem fair, but people carry their own prejudices and they are hard to fight. To most people, responsible means safe and cautious and they will never understand the freedom of the road.

That being said, my primary concern with these pieces is your safety. I would rather shake your hand at a rally or represent you in a case than to have to represent your spouse and children because you forgot your brain bucket and are no longer with us.

Motorcycle helmets come in literally thousands of sizes and styles and with a wide variety of features. With all that is on the market, there is sure to be one that suites your taste. Therein is where most novices and many experienced riders start shopping for a helmet with an improper mindset; they think style first.

Styles and Features of Motorcycle Helmets

The majority of people who start shopping for a helmet begin their search by deciding what style of helmet they want. Do they want a Skull Cap or are they looking for a full faced. If a full faced, which I recommend, do they want a touring, dual-sport, modular, hi-viz or racing helmet.

What features are they looking for? Do they want audio hookups, helmet to helmet radio, Vortex venting or what of a dozen other features do they consider important.

All these decisions are important, but should be considered later.

Three Things that Really Matter: Fit, Fit and Fit

Here is the most important consideration to have when shopping for a motorcycle helmet: FIT. Period and stop. Nothing else is more important.

A helmet that doesn’t fit properly is not only going to fail to give you the protection you need in the event of a crash, but it is going to drive you nuts. A helmet that causes pressure points to develop will turn what should be a beautiful ride into the Spanish Inquisition.

First, determine the shape of your head. This is generally classified as intermediate oval, long oval, and round oval. Anyone selling helmets should be able to tell you which helmets match your shape.

Next, get the right size. Measure just above your eyebrows around the thickest part of your head, and match it to the sizing charts on the helmets. Some companies run a little large, some run a little small. Therefore, always try your helmet before you buy it. Wear it walking around for a half hour or more to check for pressure points or slippage.

Special Note on Partial Helmets

While skull caps, half, three quarter and open faced helmets may offer better visibility and a more intimate riding experience, they are inherently less safe than a full coverage motorcycle helmet. The type of riding that you do and personal preference may lead you in their direction and any protection is better than none at all. However, I highly recommend that you always wear as much protection as possible when riding your bike.