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Helmet Design Evolution

Over the years many studies have concluded that wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle will greatly reduce the risk of head injuries. One study showed that wearing a helmet reduced the risk of head injuries by 69 percent and deaths by nearly 42 percent. Not to mention the 5,290 motorcyclists that died in 2008, many of which were not wearing helmets. Still, in some states, people refuse to wear helmets while riding their motorcycles.

Helmet Design Evolution

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers we offer Free Case Evaluations. Get started now by filling out the form on this page.

The Basic Facts

The motorcycle helmet was developed by a neurosurgeon in the 1930’s who, while performing a study on motorcycle dispatch riders, found that many military dispatch riders unnecessarily lost their life due to severe head injuries. This would lead to the crash helmets being used by the military and civilians alike.

There are many different types of motorcycle helmets, which all serve the same functions, to reduce head injuries. These motorcycle helmets all come with a chin strap to assure the helmet is securely fastened and maintains a snug fit. The following is a list of popular types of motorcycle helmets starting with the most protective to the least protective:

  • Full Face (Covers entire head)
  • Motocross / Off-Road
  • Modular (flip-up, a hybrid between full face and open face)
  • Open Face (3/4 helmet, covers the ears, back of the head, and cheeks)
  • Half Helmet
  • Novelty Helmets (Not legal motorcycle helmets, yet common)


Although wearing a motorcycle helmet has been proven to greatly reduce head injuries, people continue to bypass this and ride without a helmet.


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The Many Facets Of Helmet Safety Design

Motorcycle helmets are designed with the primary goal of protecting the rider’s head during an impact, to reduce head injury and to save the rider’s life. Most helmet safety designs use plastics, fiberglass reinforced with Kevlar or carbon fiber. They are typically lined with foam and fabric interiors that offer both comfort and protection.

The inner layer of a motorcycle helmet is lined with Expanded Polystyrene foam (EPS) and an outer shell that protects the foam. This EPS is specifically designed to cushion an impact and protect against head injuries. The outer shell of the helmet is intended to prevent penetration of the helmet and to provide structure for the soft and permeable inner liner. Many helmets will also include additional features, which typically do not protect the head against injuries, their features include:

  • Ventilation
  • Face shields
  • Ear protection
  • Intercom
  • Visor


More studies show that motorcyclists who wear a white helmet rather than black have a 24% lower risk of being involved in a motorcycle accident. This is primarily due to the color white being more visible than black. It can also be argued that the type and color of clothing can also contribute to these numbers.

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