Motorcycles are one of the most fun, but dangerous ways to get around. Without the protection of a vehicle surrounding you, your safety relies heavily on the motorcycle helmet.
A helmet could mean the difference between life and death should you ever get in an accident. But how do you know who makes the safest and most reliable motorcycle helmets? According to the UK’s SHARP program which measures helmet safety, here are the top three safest helmet brands.
The safest brands
Motorcycles are often referred to as the most hazardous form of vehicle transportation and it’s easy to see why. Without the comfort of an exterior body, there is little protection between you and outside forces. That means accidents and collisions involving motorcycles tend to result in more severe injuries and damages. Today’s motorcycle helmet companies are focused on minimizing possible damage by creating some of the most advanced helmets in the world.
In the UK, the SHARP Helmet Safety Scheme has been used since 2007 to combine research data with real-world testing to rate how safe a helmet really is.
Billy’s Crash Helmets has compiled the latest results from SHARP testing dating back to 2015 to provide us with the safest helmet brands in the world. Using 32 “impact and oblique impact tests” at three different speeds, the following three brands produced the strongest, toughest, and safest results:
Shoei premium helmets
The Shoei brand is known for being well-built, as well as expensive. Long associated with creating “premium” motorcycle helmets, Shoei has more than 60 years of experience in creating state-of-the-art helmet technologies.
12 Shoei helmets were safety tested using the SHARP system, producing an impressive average score of 4.2 stars out of five for the entire lineup. Two of its latest helmets scored the max five stars, making Shoei one of the safest brands out there.
Unlike other prominent names, Arai Helmet hasn’t always ranked the list when it comes to helmet safety. Owned by the son of the man who made the first motorcycle helmet in Japan, Arai Helmets has been scoring exceptionally high in SHARP tests in recent years.
Every Arai helmet is handmade with strict company guidelines for meeting safety standards. A total of five Arai helmets were tested, yielding an average of 4.4 stars out of five. Two of its helmets received a max score of five stars.
AGV is an Italian helmet manufacturer that has been leading the way in helmet innovation since its founding in 1947. AGV has an unrivaled reputation across the globe and is worn by the world’s best racers.
Out of the nine total AGV helmets that were tested using the SHARP system, an impressive three came back with a max score of five stars. The rest of the helmets were rated with four-star marks, proving that experience and expertise go hand and hand.
The evolution of the motorcycle helmet and its importance to safety
The origin of the motorcycle helmet dates back to the early 1900s, according to Helmet Saves. A medical officer named Dr. Eric Gardner saw many injuries and head-related traumas from local racers and started to design something to help.
Dr. Gardner created the first helmet in 1914 out of canvas and shellac, alongside his partner Mr. Moss. Designed to shield one of the most sensitive areas of the body, the design of the motorcycle helmet has changed numerous times since its early origins. The earliest types of helmets were more geared towards style rather than safety and didn’t start focusing on strength and protection until the ’60s and ’70s. During the ’70s, helmets were being used in most places, by most riders.
According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), helmets are the “most important protective gear you can wear while riding a motorcycle.” Nearly 5,200 motorcyclists were killed in 2017 alone, but helmets can reduce the risk a rider’s death by 37% and head injury by 69%, according to Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Helmets should be approved for highway use by the DOT (Department of Transportation) and even it’s not a choice from the top-three safest brands, every helmet should fit well in order to protect you properly.