Wearing the right helmet can definitely keep you safer while driving your motorcycle on Tennessee roads. In fact, all helmets manufactured after May 2013 are required to meet Department of Transportation (DOT) labeling standards. A sticker on the rear of the motorcycle helmet will designate these helmets as "FMVSS No. 218 Certified," meaning that they passed certain tests, including vigorous impact testing.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one study found that 23 percent of motorcyclists admitted to the hospital who were wearing DOT-certified helmets at the time of their accident suffered a head injury. In stark contrast, the study reported that half of all motorcyclists wearing novelty helmets received a head injury.

Substandard helmets will not protect you well from head impacts if you crash your motorcycle. These helmets offer you no face protection and they lack the impact lining that DOT-certified helmets have. They are often just a shell that gives you a false sense of security, rather than providing any crashworthy protection.

When you are shopping for a new motorcycle helmet, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make sure you are getting the safest helmet you can. The first is to look on the rear of the helmet for the DOT sticker. A safe helmet will always fit the size and shape of your head properly, and should feel secure when you have it on. Always remember that your car has many safety features that are required by the law. Your safety while riding on your motorcycle, however, is in your own hands. You may also want to purchase a second DOT-certified helmet as a backup for yourself or in the event you have a passenger.


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