May 21, 2024

Why Wear A Full Face Helmet?

Two thirds of riders face plant the bitumen in a crash, and 34% of all helmet impacts are on the chin bar.

Have you ever wondered why most safety aware people recommend full face helmets?

This graphic representation of helmet impact zones (above) provided by Icon a couple of years ago has resurfaced as a reminder.

Back in about 2014 Icon released a graphic design for its Airframe helmet called Statistic.

Damaged helmetIt shows the distribution of the impact points on a helmet involved in a crash, and is based on a study by Dietmar Otte originally published in 1981.

Is that data still relevant then since it’s so old?

Well, yes, simply because the human body hasn’t changed in that time and the way we crash hasn’t really changed much either!

The study showed that 34.6% of all impacts occurred on the chin bar, and when added with those impacts on the forehead and the helmet’s eyeport, the total of all frontal impacts comes to a staggering 66.3%!

That means that in crashes, two-thirds of riders face plant the bitumen! Now I’m not sure about you, but I kind of treasure my face.

Of course it’s everyone’s personal choice as to the helmet they wear, and we respect their decisions. But how many people might rethink their decisions if they were informed?

And maybe that’s why this graphic has resurfaced recently.

Our advice on buying a helmet:

  • Choose wisely and buy the best helmet you can comfortably afford.
  • Having said that, make sure you leave some $$$ in the accessories budget to cover the rest of your body – no point in having a $1,000 helmet and no jacket, pants, gloves or boots!
  • Have the helmet fitted by a knowledgable person (that’s probably an accessories salesperson in a shop) – a cheaper helmet that fits you properly will probably protect you better than a more expensive one that doesn’t fit well.
  • Remember that all heads are different and not all helmet brands will suit your head.
  • If you’re tempted to buy an unfamiliar helmet over the internet, read the last two points again 🙂
  • AND never buy a used helmet.

What are your thoughts? Take the risk with an open face helmet or play it safe with a full face?

1 Comment on Why Wear A Full Face Helmet?

  1. Having never really considered an open face helmet, this just reinforces my decision. Thanks guys for the great info….

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