Are Half Helmets Safe?
Riding a motorcycle without a helmet might sound like a good idea. After all, who doesn’t love to feel the wind on their face while also being able to look around with ease? However, such action may greatly increase the chances of getting a fatal head injury in case of a crash.
In theory, half helmets sound like the perfect compromise. They protect the rider’s head while also allowing them to experience some of the benefits of helmetless riding. But are they as safe as a full-face helmet, and is wearing one worth the risk?
How Safe Are Half Helmets?
Over the years, there has been a lot of debate about the safety of half helmets. More specifically, people often argue that it all depends on the riders’ skills rather than a piece of hardware. Even though they are partially correct, as skills are important, it’s hard to ignore the benefits of wearing a helmet. And since accidents can happen to anyone, even with experienced riders, any bit of additional protection is welcomed.
The biggest drawback of half helmets is that they leave a portion of the face open while riding, which exposes it to danger during crashes. According to data, the most commonly injured areas of the body during a motorcycle accident are the face and neck. In other words, wearing a half helmet doesn’t lower the chances of fatal injuries in the event of a collision.
Besides that, the lack of face protection can also negatively impact the wearer’s riding ability. Simply put, smoke, dust, and even insects will fly toward the motorcycle, forcing the rider to adjust their helmet constantly. And while goggles can be a solution, they are often uncomfortable and need constant adjustment, just like a half helmet. In contrast, full helmets feature a windshield that can be dropped down. It allows the wearer to ride without any worries, even during rain or chilly winter weather.
It’s also important to remember that any distraction can be enough for a rider to lose control of their motorcycle and hit another vehicle or pedestrian. Therefore, moving the helmet around while riding can prove to be a fatal mistake.
Who Should Avoid Wearing Half Helmets?
It’s true that some riders prefer half helmets, mostly due to the fact that they are less uncomfortable and provide an additional degree of freedom. Yet, there are some categories of motorcycle riders that should avoid wearing half helmets at all costs:
● Novice Riders need to understand that wearing a half helmet before getting a decent feel for riding is extremely dangerous. As a rule of thumb, they should wear a full helmet for at least one or two years after getting their motorcycle license. Otherwise, they risk serious injuries or even death, even with minor crashes.
● Speeding Riders should also be wary of half helmets. As previously mentioned, under normal circumstances, half helmets cannot fully protect the wearer’s face. However, the situation becomes even worse when the vehicle goes over 50 mph. In fact, a half helmet could even fly off due to wind resistance, leaving the rider fully exposed. That can have devastating effects, as it can hit another rider or distract the wearer and result in an accident.
● Long-Distance Riders already know that road conditions can be very unpredictable. That’s why riders need to make sure they are prepared for whatever they encounter. While a full helmet can be uncomfortable to put on, it provides the security they so desperately desire. The rainy and cold seasons will also make long-distance riders wish that they had something to cover their faces.
Accidents cannot be avoided all the time so it's important to have your motorcycle insured. Find out if you do need motorcycle insurance in Iowa.
So, What’s the Verdict?
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that comfort shouldn’t always be a priority, especially at the cost of safety. It doesn’t matter how experienced the rider is; wearing a full helmet is a must. Not only does it protect the face in case of an accident, but it also lowers the impact of rain, wind, and other weather effects.
Sadly, accidents are sometimes inevitable, even if the rider wears a helmet. When that happens, it’s best to rely on the top motorcycle accident lawyers in Des Moines such as those from Tom Fowler law firm. This professional team will be able to help victims get the compensation they truly deserve while also making sure the responsible party faces justice.
If you want to know more about motorcycle safety, try reading about what motorcycle safety gear one should have.