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5 Myths About Motorcycle Helmets

Chaparral Motorsports
July 12, 2015
Last Updated: November 9, 2020

For some riders, there's an opportunity to make a decision on whether or not to wear a motorcycle helmet. However, some riders in certain states are required to wear the protective gear.

It's also fairly common to receive a bunch of illogical answers when a motorcyclist who chooses to ride without a helmet is asked about their decision. There's plenty of fact and fiction with motorcycle helmets, but before you make the decision, you should know about these five myths that go along with motorcycle helmets:

1) Helmets Dangerously Affect Your Peripheral Vision

There's no doubt that if you have ridden years without a helmet and suddenly switch to a full-face helmet, you'd likely feel like your vision was hindered. However, at the same time, all DOT-compliant helmets are required to provide at least 210-degree vision, which is a large enough angle to see nearly anything coming your way.

Your peripheral vision is roughly 180 degrees, which means a helmet is likely not going to affect your vision while riding. Instead, it just takes time getting used to having something on your coconut.

2) Helmets Impair Traffic Noise

Another common myth about motorcycle helmets is that they impair rider's hearing of traffic noises. However, motorcycle helmets actually help riders hear important traffic noise since most full-face and three-quarter open face helmets cut down wind noise.

With air vents commonly built into motorcycle helmets, riders can hear traffic noises clearer by reducing wind noise. Additionally, hearing is not a common fault to motorcycle crashes or hazards. The most common cause of crashes is due to vision.

3) Helmets Don't Help In Serious Crashes

One of the most irrational reasons why riders say they don't wear helmets is because they don't work in serious crashes. While there have been helmet-wearing rider deaths, there are also countless people who have lived through crashes thanks to a helmet.

Your brain is the most important thing to protect while riding. Helmets are more often tested at common speeds instead of high-speeds because manufacturers want to test real-life scenarios. Also, testing helmets at intense speeds over 100 mph is not common because the average biker, and roughly 90 percent of accidents, happen at lower speeds (50 mph range).

When looking at the majority of accidents, head trauma is one of the biggest causes of death, which means helmets play a critical role in any type of accident.

4) Helmets Increase Bad Riding Habits

Another myth that some riders use to avoid wearing a motorcycle helmet is that it will make them a more reckless motorcyclist. Some believe once you don a helmet, you don't make as many safe decisions on the road.

There's really no way to prove that a rider would act less careful with a helmet, but at the same time, there's no data that shows people with helmets ride less cautiously. In the end, a crash is a crash, and you might not always be the one at fault. Reckless riding or not, helmets protect motorcyclists much more than a person riding without one.

5) Helmets Cause Neck Injuries

This is another seriously incorrect myth about motorcycle helmets, and there's no data to back up the claim that helmets increase the chances of neck injuries during a crash. Anti-helmet riders say the additional weight of the helmet causes injuries, but in fact, most reports find that helmets actually prevent neck injuries. DOT-approved helmets do an amazing job at absorbing the impact, which will then disperse much of the force from the impact.

To check out a large selection of the latest cool motorcycle helmets, make sure to check out Chaparral's online store.

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