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Don’t Lose Your Head When Choosing A Motorcycle Helmet

Motorcycle helmet on white background
14th May 2014
In June 2012, the Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme (SHARP) published ratings for 13 new motorcycle helmets, including 11 full face and 2 flip-fronts, which brings the total number of rated helmets to an extensive 274. Click here for a full list of cycle helmet ratings available now at the DirectGov website.

SHARP is the official safety rating for motorcycle helmets set up by the Department for Transport, which provides an independent assessment of the level of impact protection a motorcycle helmet can withstand.

Choosing and wearing the right helmet can be the crucial life-saving difference in serious motorbike accidents when a head, neck or spinal injury, unfortunately, frequently appears in a motorbike accident compensation can make up for life-altering severe injuries.

Motor cyclists should not be totally seduced by a look or design and should also concentrate on practical concerns such as the fit. Most helmets are manufactured to a standard average user specification and sometimes are purchased one size too big just because it vaguely "feels OK" when tried on. A helmet should always fit properly to an actual measured head size with no excessive movement in any direction.

It is an actual legal requirement in the UK that a helmet must be safety-approved to BS 6658 types A & B or EC Regulation 22 type 05 series, with the BS6658 sticker displayed on the outside, or an EC approval mark on the inside. When wearing a helmet, by law, it must fit properly and the strap must be correctly fastened.

Visors or goggles must also be approved to BS4110 or the new EC Regulation 22 type 05 mark and a 50 per cent tint is the darkest allowed by law, marked "for daylight use only". Dark, mirrored etc. visors are illegal.

It should be remembered that helmets have a limited lifespan and the level of protection will reduce. A polycarbonate helmet should be replaced around every three years and fibreglass helmets are usually good for about five years.