You only have one brain, and it has to last a lifetime. If you ride a motorcycle, you are much more vulnerable to brain injury in the event of a crash than a motorist who has the protection of a vehicle with a steel frame and airbags.
However, there is something you can do to improve your chances of avoiding brain injury, and it involves your choice of helmet.
Brain injury overview
Everyone responds differently to a crash. You might feel shaky afterward, and depending on the kind of damage your bike sustained, you might even be able to ride away. If you sustained a head injury, you might not notice that anything is wrong until you begin having headaches or problems with your hearing or vision. Motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes are among the leading causes of traumatic brain injury, which can be a life-changing medical issue with physical, cognitive and behavioral effects.
The proper helmet
The helmet you wear should meet the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS)218. When you go helmet shopping, look for the DOT symbol; this should be on the back of the helmet. Those that meet the FMVSS 218 standard will have an interior lining of thick polystyrene foam plus a study chinstrap. Helmets of this type weigh about three pounds. You might consider helmets with plastic face shields, great for protection against wind, dust, bugs and any debris that flies up from the ground.
Post-crash steps to take
Even if you feel fine physically after a motorcycle accident, seek a medical evaluation immediately. Not only is this essential for your well-being, but a doctor’s report will be critical in terms of linking your injury directly to the accident when it comes to filing an insurance claim. An attorney experienced with motorcycle accident cases will tell you that a brain injury, including TBI, is not uncommon — but it is preventable. Protect your precious brain with the best DOT-approved helmet you can find.