Wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle is a very smart thing to do, and in some states it is the law. The primary function of a motorcycle helmet is to absorb energy and protect the head in the case of an impact. However, they can also protect the head from debris on the road such as flying rocks, bugs, bad weather, and anything else that could otherwise cause injury. Without a helmet, a motorcycle rider involved in a collision or other accident is much more likely to receive head injuries than one who is wearing a helmet.
Most motorcycle helmets today are constructed of some sort of plastic. The upper-end models may be made of a carbon-fiber material or enhanced with Kevlar and offer superior strength. Under the plastic, there is extensive padding, which is normally made of foams and fabric to further protect the rider and offer maximum comfort while wearing the helmet.
There are a plethora of styles and types of motorcycle helmets on the market, from the tiny helmets worn by some Harley Davidson riders to full-faced, full-head models that provide maximum protection. It is recommended for anyone on a street bike to wear a full-faced-style helmet that will protect the facial area from road debris and provide superior head protection in the case of an accident. Another type is an open-faced style, sometimes known as a three-quarter helmet, which has no facial screen. There are also open-faced, off-road-style helmets, which usually feature an extended chin and brow area to make up for the lack of a face screen. There is an endless array of colors available. White is generally accepted as the safest, most visible color, while black helmets offer the least visibility to other drivers or riders on the road.
No matter which type of motorcycle helmet you choose, if you are involved in any kind of fall or collision, immediately discard the helmet and purchase a new one. Motorcycle helmets are designed to crack in the event of an impact so that they can most effectively absorb the energy. Therefore, even if the helmet appears flawless to the naked eye, its integrity could be greatly compromised, offering little or no protection should another impact occur. Also, if the motorcycle helmet you choose has a tinted front glass for daytime riding, be aware that this could limit vision in the dark, like wearing sunglasses at night. It is best to have a clear face plastic with you as a spare in case nighttime riding should be necessary.