When you take the precaution of wearing a helmet while riding your motorcycle along Georgia's scenic roads and highways, naturally you're going to believe the helmet will protect you if you're in an accident. A helmet that's federally regulated for safety can greatly reduce the chance of serious injury or death from a head impact . However, there's a specific group of helmets that is growing in popularity, and many bikers may not even realize they offer little to no protection during a crash.
Often called "novelty helmets," this defective product has been repeatedly tested over the years by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and was found in all instances to be worthless at protecting the brain and skull from impact. Novelty helmets are lighter in weight than regulation helmets, and thus provide far less protection, if any. Some bikers have the mistaken idea that a novelty helmet is better protection than none at all, but these helmets have been known to crumple, fall apart, and pop off in a crash.
Novelty helmets are illegal in some states that require helmets with federally-approved safety certifications, but that hasn't stopped over 800,000 of them being sold in America each year. The NHTSA is considering ways to limit or restrict sales of this dangerous product, but setting any rules in place may take months or years. In the meantime, deaths that may be attributed to novelty helmets are rising.
One woman lost her life in a crash when her novelty helmet's strap broke, while her fiancé walked away from the accident unharmed. Perhaps more incidents like this can be avoided if negligent helmet manufacturers are held liable for passing off their helmets as safe.
Source: Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, "Booming Sales of Novelty Helmets Boost Motorcycle Deaths," Rick Schmitt, April 22, 2013