motorcycle helmet

How Do I Choose the Right Motorcycle Helmet?

Finding the Best Fit

Despite Illinois not requiring the use of motorcycle helmets, many first-time riders are faced with a wall of options when it comes to choosing their style. Every rider prefers a different look while on the road, but each helmet you choose should come with the necessary standard of safety.

How to Choose the Right Helmet

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires helmets to be sold in compliance with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard regulations. There are five main things to look for:

  • An inner foam liner that's about one inch thick
  • Chinstrap with solid rivets
  • About three pounds in weight
  • Nothing extending beyond two-tenths of an inch from the helmet's surface (except visors)
  • DOT sticker and manufacturer label

When in compliance, the right motorcycle helmet can reduce your risk of head injury by about 69%. Here are the most common options for motorcycle riders:

Full Face

As the name suggests, full-face helmets provide coverage on all sides and are usually the safest option for riders. These are often equipped with a face shield that protects from sun, wind, and bugs, and eliminates your need to wear bulky sunglasses with your helmet.


Modular helmets are a popular choice for riders who want to feel the protection of a full-face helmet with the freedom of being able to uncover their face while riding. These also tend to be slightly heavier than your standard full-face option since being able to flip up the front requires additional hardware.

Open Face

Open-face helmets can come in many forms, although they are most frequently referred to as "3/4" helmets. This is due to the completely open front side and lack of a chin bar. While these are often the least safe in terms of coverage, they still provide some head protection in a collision.

No matter which helmet you choose, wearing one at all times while riding a motorcycle will always be safer than not wearing one at all.

Chicago Motorcycle Crash Attorneys

Our team of attorneys is dedicated to helping protect injured motorists across Illinois. As avid motorcycle riders, we understand the importance of roadway safety and are committed to getting you the best possible outcome for your case. If you are seeking legal representation for a motorcycle crash, call (312) 888-8700 to schedule a consultation with a member of our team.

Need a lift? We offer a free motorcycle rescue service for riders after an accident. Call (312) 888-8700, and we'll tow your bike with no obligation to become a client of our firm.