BP365 take a look at how to choose a motorcycle helmet

It's a sad fact that motorbike accidents happen. No matter how carefully you ride or how experienced you are, there's still that possibility that you could be involved in a crash.

You can't live life wrapped in cotton wool or else we'd never use our bikes again, but it does pay to take a few precautions in case the worst comes to the worst and you find yourself involved in an unavoidable motorcycle accident.

The cars of today are packed with numerous safety measures all designed to keep the driver and passengers safe; airbags, seat belts, side impact bags and roll cages to name but a few. Despite such extensive protection, thousands of motorists still die every year as the result of car crashes.

So when you consider that a motorcyclist has no such luxury as a seat belt or a reinforced metal cage around him, anything he can do to increase his chances in the event of a motorcycle accident is certainly recommended and so a helmet is one of the most important pieces of personal protection available.

As we've said, hopefully an accident will never happen but it's best to be prepared. That's why BP365 the experienced motorbike accident experts, have come up with a brief guide to choosing a helmet.

The importance of a helmet
The helmet is the most obvious piece of protective equipment a biker can have and also one of the most important in terms of preventing serious personal injury. Their use became compulsory in the United Kingdom many years ago but enormous amounts of countries throughout the world still allow their citizens to ride without one.

Motorcycle helmet One particularly disturbing example of this involved a BP365 colleague who recently went on holiday to Thailand. Despite the gorgeous beaches and the cheap bars, he was unable to completely forget about riding and so decided he needed a fix. He hired a Harley for the day for a ridiculously low price but when he asked the rental boss for a helmet he was greeted with a blank stare.

At first the Thai refused to provide a lid but after some discussion and gesticulation he grudgingly disappeared into the back of his shop before returning with a grubby yellow hard hat. A yellow Bob the Builder hard hat! The type builders wear to prevent themselves suffering head injuries if they inadvertently bump their skull on some scaffolding or if their mate drops a hammer on them from above.

Not the best thing, however, to protect the head during a 60mph motorbike accident. This is why our man refused to ride the Harley until he eventually got hold of a proper helmet.

But the whole sequence of events just goes to show how blasť some people can be about a piece of equipment that plays a massive part in preventing head injuries and has the ability to save a life. And that is something that should certainly not be scoffed at.

Picking the right helmet for you
There are thousands of helmets available on the market and choosing which one to buy can be a real nightmare. The main thing is to ensure that you always buy a new one and, no matter how tight your budget, never ever pick up a second hand one from a boot sale or somewhere similar.

It might look undamaged but the helmets of today are designed in a similar way to a car's crumple zone, meaning that any impact is absorbed. As a result, a helmet can only work once and even dropping it could be enough to make it useless. Therefore, a second-hand helmet, no matter how good it looks, is definitely a big no-no.

All helmets legal for use on the UK's roads have to conform to set standards, namely the ECE 22-05 or older British Standard 6658, both of which are much more stringent than the American DOT and old European CE benchmarks. When purchasing, always ensure that the helmet conforms to one of these standards otherwise it might not fully protect you from head injuries in the event of a motorcycle accident.

Helmets come in a range of sizes and it's vitally important to pick one that fits properly. They're supposed to go from XXS (52cm) all the way up to XXL (63/54cm) but do vary slightly between manufacturers so it's always best to try before you buy.

When you're trying it on make sure there are no uncomfortable pressure points (especially on your ears or forehead) and leave the helmet on for a couple of minutes to test if it really is a good fit. Also make sure you can't twist the helmet around too far or pull it off completely when it's strapped up.

No matter how much you spend on a new helmet - whether it cost £50 or £500 - it will have to be looked after properly. Keep it clean with a soft damp cloth and add a couple of drops of washing-up liquid in order to scrub off mangled insects and everyday grime. It should also be kept in a bag to avoid bumping and scratching it but a pillowcase is just as good as a proper helmet bag.

Most importantly, remember not to drop it. If you do though, remember there could be massive internal damage that would render it ineffective in the event of a motorcycle accident, so always buy a new one or contact the manufacturers to get it tested.

The importance of a good helmet cannot be emphasised enough and there are thousands of bikers alive today who would otherwise be dead or severely brain damaged were it not for the simple fact that they protected their head properly.

Making a motorbike accident claim
If you're unfortunate enough to have been injured in a motorbike accident then BP365 could help you.

We're the motorcycle accident specialists and, being bikers ourselves, we know how traumatic and inconvenient a crash can be. That's why we're here to help and that's why we can help you get back on the road sooner than you think.

If it's personal injury compensation you're looking for, bike repairs, a replacement ride, expert medical treatment or even new leathers, then we're the people for you.

It sounds too good to be true but we can promise you that it's not. So pick up the phone today and give the motorbike accident experts a ring on 0800 0925 365 to find out just what we can do for you.

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*Where replacement vehicle costs can be recovered from the insurance company of the person who caused the accident. Where this person is untraceable or uninsured, or where there is a dispute over liability, a replacement vehicle cannot be provided.

* A temporary replacement hire motorcycle or scooter can usually be provided within 24 hours where hire costs can be recovered from the insurance company of the person who caused the accident. If this person is untraceable or uninsured, or where there is a dispute over liability, it may not be possible to provide a replacement bike.  Please do still call us though, as we will always do everything we can to help.

* If the leathers you are replacing are old or worn the insurance company may require you to make a contribution towards the cost of the new leathers.  This is called betterment value and our experienced legal team will advise you on the reasonableness of any offers.