While many studies show that wearing motorcycle helmets saves lives, many riders still dispute the claim. Others, in states where helmet use is optional, choose to take the risk of riding without a helmet. In California, the law does not afford the option of riding helmet free, but there are several different styles of helmets to choose from. How much protection from a traumatic brain injury do these helmets provide?
California law requires that all helmets sold for use by motorcycle riders meet or exceed the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218. States that implemented similar helmet requirements, have shown a significant reduction in motorcycle head injuries of 50%. Most of these states require the same Department of Transportation approval as California. Meeting that standard does not guarantee the maximum protection, it only means the product passed certain testing requirements.