Is A Carbon Fiber Motorcycle Helmet Safe? Things To Know Before Buying

carbon fiber motorcycle helmet

When motorcycle riders are involved in an accident, they are more likely to sustain serious or even life-threatening injuries. This is because they are far more exposed while on the road as compared to those who are in 4-wheeled vehicles.

That is why it is essential for motorcycle riders to always wear safety equipment when riding, and no piece of safety equipment is more crucial than a helmet. Most modern bikers prefer the strong but lightweight carbon fiber motorcycle helmet. The question is — is this helmet safe? Here are a few things to know before you buy one for yourself.

Know The Law

Before delving into the safety of a carbon fiber motorcycle helmet, it is important to first look into what California law has to say about motorcycle helmets.

CVC 27803 mandates that all riders and passengers wear a US DOT-compliant motorcycle safety helmet. The maker must certify that the motorcycle safety helmet meets U.S. safety standards as outlined by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218 of the Department of Transportation. Consider the following facts:

  • When an accident happens, the majority of motorcycle riders are traveling slower than 30 mph. At this speed, a US DOT-approved motorcycle safety helmet can reduce head injuries by 50%.
  • A helmet that is not US DOT-approved usually has very thin liners and protective padding. These helmets are inadequate in terms of strength, size, and capacity to protect the rider in the event of a collision.
  • If you wear a US DOT-compliant motorcycle helmet, you’re three times more likely to survive a head injury than if you don’t. A carbon fiber helmet almost always meets DOT safety regulations.

Types of Motorcycle Helmets

Generally, there are three types of motorcycle helmets to choose from. These include half shell, three quarters, or full-face helmet. Among these three, a full-face helmet with a lock-in visor is the most ideal as it provides the most coverage and protection to the back of your head.

While style preference may vary from one motorcycle rider to another, the following things should be noted:

  • The motorcycle helmet must meet U.S. DOT safety standards. You would know this when you see US DOT lettering on the back of the helmet. This lettering is not a stick-on label and it does not come off easily.
  • It provides a snug fit.
  • There are no visible flaws such as cracks, sagging cushioning, or torn straps.
  • The helmet should not fly off your head before it has an opportunity to protect you if you, unfortunately, experience a collision while riding your motorcycle.

Given the aforementioned things to consider, it does not come as a surprise that carbon fiber motorcycle helmets are gradually becoming the industry standard in the premium helmet market. They might be pricey but they are worth every dime where your safety standards and peace of mind are concerned.

All About Carbon Fiber Motorcycle Helmet

So what makes a carbon fiber motorcycle helmet particularly safe to use? ​​It all goes down to the alignment of the atoms that make up carbon fiber technology.

The material itself is typically only 5 micrometers in diameter and is made up mostly of carbon atoms. The atoms form a crystal alignment that runs parallel to the fiber’s long axis. Because of its unique composition, this fiber is extremely strong for its size.

These fibers are bundled together and woven into large pieces of carbon material. It can then be combined with a plastic resin to form carbon fiber. The result is a super strong but lightweight carbon fiber helmet.

How safe is carbon fiber technology? A SHARP helmet safety test can answer this question more objectively. The carbon fiber motorcycle helmet received the highest score of 4.25 out of 5 despite it being the most lightweight. In this test, helmets made out of carbon fiber were compared with those made from fiberglass and polycarbonate.

A quick aside: The SHARP crash helmet testing scheme was introduced in the United Kingdom in 2007 in an attempt to link real-world accident research data to a repeatable scientific and lab-based approach to crash helmet safety testing and to output their results in a simple format that the purchasing public can understand. Despite it being an EU-based test, US manufacturers and buyers use these results for safety purposes — to make an informed decision about the safety of motorcycle helmets.

Carbon Fiber Motorcycle Helmet Benefits

There are many benefits to purchasing a carbon fiber helmet. Here are just some of them:

  • Carbon fiber motorcycle helmets are a lot stronger than helmets made of conventional materials. It can also be easily coupled with other strong materials, such as Kevlar, to provide an even stronger helmet shell. Carbon fiber motorcycle helmets provide extra protection and unrivaled shock deflection. Impact power is spread evenly across the surface rather than remaining localized to the impact area during impact.
  • Carbon fiber motorcycle helmets are more durable than other types of helmets. In terms of appearance, they are more scratch and crack resistant than fiberglass helmets. 
  • They are also lighter than other helmets and, given their strength, surprisingly light, making them more comfortable to wear. They are light weight and provide riders with greater mobility as well as less weight/stress on the neck. They also typically offer excellent ventilation and, in some, noise isolation.
  • Carbon fiber motorcycle helmets are ideal for all weather conditions and are frequently designed with breathable vents to accommodate warm-weather riders.
  • Another benefit of carbon fiber motorcycle helmets is that they adapt well to cold climates and other adverse conditions, making for a comfortable riding experience. The “fog factor,” which impairs your ability to see road conditions, is a major concern for cold weather riders. Most carbon fiber helmets include anti-fog systems to combat decreased visor visibility.
  • These types of helmets also provide additional noise protection, which is a significant benefit in terms of minimizing wind noise. Wind noise reduction allows you to focus on traffic sounds while also lowering your risk of hearing damage.

Overall, a carbon fiber motorcycle helmet provides motorcyclists with amazing protection, durability, and comfort while riding. It’s no wonder that carbon fiber technology has aced safety ratings and dominated the market after decades of study and development. This remains true even when these helmets can sell for around $1,000.

Before making such a significant investment, it would be best to visit your trusted motorcycle dealer so you can get fitted and further discuss what you can get out of a carbon fiber motorcycle helmet.

Keep A Motorcycle Accident Attorney In Your Emergency Contacts

Found yourself in a motorcycle accident? Call Motorcyclist Attorney to help you get the medical care you need and money you deserve. Our experienced bike crash lawyers in California are available for you 24/7. We will fight for you to get the maximum compensation possible for your injuries and losses. We speak English and Spanish. 
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