When choosing a helmet it is better to choose the helmet that fits you correctly, is comfortable and offers the best protection rather than choosing one for its looks or price.
Use the SHARP (Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme) scheme to assess the rating of the helmet you intend to buy. You may find that the more expensive well-known brand of helmet you intend to buy offers less protection than one that may be considered a more budget helmet.
The SHARP Scheme tests the energy absorption qualities of helmets and produces a five star rating. Research by the SHARP scheme suggests that in 80% of fatal and 70% of serious collisions, head injuries were a significant factor. In the same study, in 14% of collisions, riders lost their helmets during impact. In order to give you the best protection your helmet needs to be a really good fit but also comfortable.
When you choose a helmet follow these five tips
1. Get Your Head Measured
Measure around the fullest part of your head just above the ears and choose a helmet in that size range. It may be tempting to buy the model you want in the wrong size but a helmet that is too small will be uncomfortable and a helmet that is too large may come off in a collision.
2. Try It On
Adjust the strap so that you can on fit two fingers between it and your jaw. You should be able to feel the helmet against all parts of your head without any pressure points. Wear it for at least five minutes to see if any pressure points develop. If they do, the helmet may be the wrong shape for you. Also check if the visor is easy to lift up and down with your left hand.
3. Too Tight or Too Loose?
With the strap secured, try rotating the helmet from side to side. On a full face, your cheeks should follow the movement of the helmet and stay in contact with the cheek pads. Next, tilt the helmet forward and back. It should stay in position and not move.
4. Does It Come Off?
With the strap secured, tilt your head forward and get someone to try to roll the helmet off your head by carefully applying upward force to the rear of the helmet. If it can be rolled off, it’s likely that it will come off in a collision.
5. Safety Standards
Ensure your helmet comes with either an ‘E’ or BSI approval marking.
For more information and to check helmet safety ratings go to www.direct.gov.uk/sharp