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Most everyone has heard about motorcycle helmets being capable of saving lives. Many may assume that just any helmet you can buy at the store will do. Not all are created equal though. Instead, only those that are listed as meeting Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218 are deemed to be safe enough to truly protect you from harm.

In order for a helmet to meet FMVSS 218, it must have both solid rivets and a chin strap. It’s important that no portion of it extend in excess of two-tenths of an inch beyond the helmet’s surface though. This means that any one that you find with spikes or any feature used to adorn likely wouldn’t be in compliance with existing standards.

FMVSS compliant helmets are required to be lined with polystyrene foam that has a thickness of at least one inch. A helmet that adheres to existing standards generally weighs closer to three pounds. Noncompliant ones generally weigh less than one.

When you’re considering different helmets for purchase, you may want to look closely at what types of labels or strickers are on them. FMVSS 218 compliant helmets are required to have a Department of Transportation (DOT) stricker affixed to the rear portion of them.

A manufacturer of such a helmet is supposed to also affix a label either on the exterior portion of it or inside that details the size and model of the helmet, the materials that were used to make it, when it was produced and by whom as well as its owner’s name.

Finally, any compliant helmet is supposed to also have a third label affixed to it specifying any other nonprofit or private standards it may also adhere to. Some important designations may include American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or Snell.

If you’re involved in a motorcycle crash, then you can greatly increase your chances of survival if you’re wearing a FMVSS 218 compliant helmet. If you have suffered a serious injury in one because of someone else’s negligence, then a Los Angeles motorcycle accidents attorney can advise you of your rights to sue for damages in your case.

Source: Department of Transportation: Highways, “How to identify unsafe motorcycle helmets,” accessed May 18, 2018