It’s one of the age-old questions of motorcycling: open-face or full-face helmet?
For open-face “brain-bucket” proponents, it’s a matter of fashion, choice and freedom.
For full-face helmet wearers, it’s also about fashion, but mainly safety.
There is little doubt a full-face lid is safer in a crash. The new Icon Airframe helmet even includes crash statistics printed on the shell to show the likelihood of that part of your head hitting the tar in a crash. The chin bar area hits the ground in 19.4% of crashes!
I have a friend who T-boned a car that drove out in front of him and he now has massive facial scars because he was wearing an open-face helmet.
Even so, I still feel more secure riding in traffic with an open-face helmet because there are fewer blind spots and I am more aware of noise and movement around me.
Yet technology is coming to the aid of full-face helmets in the prevention of accidents with cameras, mirrors and head-up displays.
The latest hi-tech full-face helmet is the Guardian by FUSAR Technologies, which even has black-box recording technologies so you can prove fault in a crash. It was revealed this week at the Augmented World Expo 2014, but it won’t be market-ready until next year, according to engadget.com.
While I welcome the improved safety of helmets, my concern is that governments or insurance companies could step in and force our choices.
In some American states, you can choose to not wear a helmet, but you must be 21 or over and have more than $10,000 medical insurance. It wouldn’t take much for the nanny state to enforce similar rules for wearers of open-face helmets.
- Do you wear an open-face or full-face helmet and why? Leave your comments below.