DOT Approved Helmets Tips

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Can I make my own custom helmets?

Custom Helmets

Some riders feel that traditional helmets simply do not provide them with enough originality, and they wonder if they can create their own helmets to use when riding. Unfortunately, this is not advised, and can also be against the law. Helmets that are approved by the DOT undergo rigorous testing to ensure that they meet strict safety and durability standards, and homemade helmets will not have the luxury of going through this testing.
Additionally, because helmets are required by law in some states, if a rider has a helmet on that is not DOT approved, they may face fines because their helmet does not come up to specifications. If you want a unique-looking helmet and cannot find it in any stores, you do have the option of modifying DOT approved helmets to get the look you want. Be certain that when doing this, however, that you do not damage the structure of the helmet in any way, and that you refrain from using any chemicals on the helmet that might damage it or make it crack.
So long as you ensure that the helmet remains undamaged, then you can modify it as much as you want, and get the custom helmet that you've been wanting.

   
Why should a helmet be DOT approved?

DOT Approved Helmets

Helmets are the most important part of a biker's attire. They are also required by law in many states and counties, and wearing one is common sense, since they protect the most important part of your body. Helmets that are sold commercially must be approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT), and DOT approved helmets are the only ones that you should wear.
When a helmet is DOT approved, the approval signifies that the helmet has met certain standards for durability and protection, and will protect the rider if they have an accident. Some people choose to ride with helmets that they make themselves, and this can be extremely dangerous since these homemade helmets have not been tested for safety and reliability.
In fact, wearing a non-DOT approved helmet can be more dangerous than not wearing one at all, since a homemade helmet could shatter under an impact. For these reasons, it is very important that you wear a helmet that has been DOT approved.

   
What can happen if I choose not to wear a helmet?

Consequences of Not Wearing a Helmet

When people ride bikes without helmets, they are risking their very lives. Although helmets can be uncomfortable, the short-term discomfort is well worth the avoidance of the long-term pain that an accident can bring or the consequences of an unexpected death.
When people ride without helmets, they dramatically increase their chances of receiving severe injuries if there is an accident. Such injuries can be disfiguring, or they can lead to brain damage and/or death. Besides the physical risks associated with riding without a helmet, there is another danger, too. Many states and counties have laws that prohibit the operation of a motorcycle without wearing a DOT approved helmet. Fines for breaking these laws can be several hundred dollars, and repeated offenses could cause you to lose your license or even end up in jail.
It is best to avoid all of that trouble and reduce your risk of injury by simply wearing a helmet. Find one that fits and is as comfortable as possible, and always put it on before you get on your bike.

   
Do all motorcycle helmets provide the same level of protection?

Protection Provided by Different Helmets

There are various types of motorcycle helmets, and they each provide differing levels of protection. Not surprisingly, the level of protection each helmet provides is inversely proportional to the comfort that they afford, so you will want to choose your helmet based on a combination of protection and comfort.

Half helmets cover just the upper part of the head, and do not descend any lower than the tops of the ears. These are generally the most comfortable helmets because they provide the most freedom of movement to the head and neck regions. Full-face helmets are more constricting, but unlike half-helmets, they cover the entire head and provide extremely good protection against road hazards and accidents.
While they are a bit uncomfortable, this added protection is well worth the cost. Some helmet models are modular, meaning that the front faceplate flips up, allowing the rider to see better when stopped and provides better adjustment of the helmet. All in all, full-face helmets provide much better protection than half-helmets, but at a reduced comfort level.

   
What kinds of helmets are available that are DOT approved?

Different Kinds of Helmets

There are a variety of helmets that bikers wear, and there are a variety of helmet styles that are DOT approved. Half helmets, which cover only the top portion of the head, are popular among bikers because they allow them to wear sunglasses and have greater freedom of movement in their head and neck region.
These types of helmets can often be seen in shops that sell Harley-Davidson gear, since Harley-Davidson riders tend to wear them more often than other bikers. Other types of helmets are full-face helmets and modular helmets. These types of helmets cover the entirety of the head. Modular helmets have a front section on them that flips up, which makes it easier to adjust the helmet since they do not have to take it off like other full-face helmets.
While these types of helmets are less comfortable and they restrict movement somewhat, the advantage to wearing them is that they provide the best protection in case there is a crash or an accident since they surround and cover the whole head. All of these types of helmets have manufacturers that have received DOT approval, and all are suitable to wear while riding.

   
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