Motorcycle helmets have an important job to do. They must protect the rider’s head in the event of a crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, helmets are about 37 percent effective in preventing deaths in a motorcycle crash, and about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries.
Most motorcycle helmet manufacturers are focused on protecting the skull from fracture during a crash, but they do nothing to stop the rotational or angular acceleration in a crash, which causes your brain to spin inside the skull. It is this rotation or angular acceleration that causes concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Now there is a new helmet on the market that goes one better. It is designed to protect the brain. The Lanesplitter blog calls the new Bell Pro Star helmet, “the most important street helmet in the past 50 years.” Motorcycle helmets currently on the market are designed to protect the skull,
The Bell helmet uses a Flex Impact Liner, made of three, unique protective materials which are layered to address low, medium and high rotational impacts. When a person is in a crash wearing a helmet without this kind of dynamic liner, the head experiences the same amount of angular acceleration as a head without a helmet when subjected to the same force of impact.
The helmet has some other cool features as well:
- The Bell Pro Star helmet uses a new carbon weave called TeXtreme, which is 20 percent lighter than conventional carbon fiber, but equally as strong.
- The VIRUS CoolJade liner claims to cool the skin surface by ten degrees.
- The Panovision Viewport uses a pushbutton design to release the visor from the helmet
- The Magnefusion magnetic cheek pad system makes the pads easier to remove and put back in
The new line of helmets includes three different styles, two of which include the Flex Impact Liner. The helmets range in price from $1,199 – $1,299. They will be available in February of next year.
Choosing the best motorcycle helmet
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has published a free booklet, “What You Should Know About Motorcycle Helmets.” This publication contains vital information for motorcycle riders who want to know how to choose the right helmet, how to get the right fit, how to care for your helmet and how to know when it is time to replace a helmet.
The NHTSA has a website dedicated to motorcycle safety, and they have a seven minute video about helmet safety and choosing the right helmet. With so many bikes on the city streets around Washington, D.C. and more rural roads in neighboring West Virginia, having the right helmet to protect your brain is always a smart move.