One of the most important safety precautions you can take while riding a motorcycle is to wear a proper helmet.
However, not all helmets protect your brain the same way.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some venders sell novelty helmets, which are not intended for use with motorcycles and will not protect your skull in the event of a crash.
Any helmet design that is less than an inch thick or does not have sufficient inner lining to cushion a blow is unsuitable to use. The chin straps should also be sturdy and unable to break under regular pressure.
Your helmet should conform comfortably to the shape of your head. You may have a round oval, long oval or intermediate oval shape head, which influences what variety of helmet you choose.
Before shopping, you should measure the circumference of your head so you can gauge what size you need. Wear the helmet for about 20 or so minutes in order to make sure it fits snugly and is not too tight or too loose.
The Department of Transportation has a strict set of safety standards for any helmet that is DOT approved. Not every helmet on the market meets these standards, so it is important to check the one you buy.
Some venders may even go so far as to put fake stickers on the outside of certain novelty helmets in order to trick potential customers. Learning to tell the difference between an unapproved helmet and a safe one may prevent you from getting injured on the road.