Why You Shouldn’t Wear a Novelty Motorcycle Helmet

Why You Shouldn’t Wear a Novelty Motorcycle Helmet

Attorney Claude Wyle | +61404532026 | Free Consult

“There’s no reason to buy a novelty helmet anymore and I don’t know why they’re selling about a million of them a year, but if they’re responsible for 1 in 6 motorcycle deaths across this country, shouldn’t we be doing something about it?”

Popularized by the TV show Sons of Anarchy, novelty helmets are more stylish and comfortable than their DOT-approved counterparts. Just one problem: when it comes to protecting your head in a crash, they are completely ineffective.


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 1 in 6 motorcycle deaths in states with mandatory helmet laws can be attributed to riders wearing novelty helmets instead of helmets approved by the Department of Transportation. This is why everyone should avoid wearing a novelty motorcycle helmet like the ones featured in Sons of Anarchy.

Claude Wyle is an injury attorney and partner at Choulos Choulos & Wyle based in San Francisco, CA. He’s also an avid motorcycle rider who represents injured riders. In this interview, he explains why every rider should opt for a durable, high-quality helmet.

To learn more, contact the attorney directly by calling +61404532026 or by submitting a contact form on this page. There is no charge for the consultation, and you never owe any out-of-pocket attorney fees.

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Key Takeaways From Claude Wyle:

In 19 states it is mandatory that motorcyclists wear DOT approved helmets while on the road. Wyle maintains that using novelty helmets in any state is a bad idea with potentially fatal consequences. Novelty helmets may look like a normal helmet but are not DOT approved and therefore not legal.

Novelty helmets don’t withstand penetration.

A helmet is designed to protect your head from a strong impact. Specifically, DOT approved helmets are designed to stop those objects from penetrating the outer helmet and damaging your face, head, or neck. Novelty helmets, on the other hand, are designed to be stylish. They are made of a light material, insufficient to stop anything from causing damage upon penetration.

Novelty helmets don’t have impact attenuation.

Helmets must contain a specific kind of material on the inside to protect a rider’s head and neck during a fall. Novelty helmets have only a thin layer of lightweight material inside. They may feel cooler and weigh less, but they offer no protection to a rider’s brain in the case of a fall.

Novelty helmets won’t remain on your head in the case of a crash.

DOT approved helmets have straps that are designed to keep the helmet on during a fall. The straps on novelty helmets often break or snap under pressure, once again affording no protection to a rider’s most important attributes in the situation that the helmet falls off during a crash.

Manufacturers of novelty helmets are aware of the dangers their products pose yet continue to sell them at an alarming rate. This shows a remarkable lack of interest in their customers’ welfare. As time progresses, more and more people are choosing to wear novelty helmets rather than DOT approved life-saving helmets.

As the rate of novelty helmet sales increases, the rate of deaths due to motorcycle crashes increases likewise.

Wyle refers to a recent statistic that blames 1 out 4 motorcycle deaths on the inappropriate use of novelty helmets. In other words, 25% of motorcycle deaths could be attributed to injuries sustained during motorcycle wrecks in which the driver is wearing a novelty helmet rather than one approved by the DOT. Wyle feels the 1 in 4 statistic might be inaccurate, but stands by the proven 1 in 6 statistic, which is still extremely alarming.

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DOT testing on novelty helmets resulted in injury to 100% of the simulated riders.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) puts their helmets through rigorous trials to make sure they can withstand the stress of different types of motorcycle crashes, and novelty helmets unequivocally and repeatedly failed these trials.

With the rising popularity of Sons of Anarchy, a TV drama about bikers, the rate of novelty helmets skyrocketed.

Looking cool isn’t worth finding yourself permanently disabled or dead from a completely avoidable motorcycle injury. Although novelty helmets may be fun and cheap, if your head hits the pavement while wearing one, the chance that you will sustain a severe or fatal injury is astronomical.

To learn more, contact Claude Wyle directly by calling +61404532026 or by submitting a contact form on this page. There is no charge for the consultation, and you never owe any out-of-pocket attorney fees.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. [external_footer]