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Crash statistics on motorcycle helmets

Icon Airframe Statistic motorcycle helmet modular light
Icon Airframe Statistic motorcycle helmet shows impact areas by percentage

Talk about rubbing your nose, ears, chin and whole head in it … Icon has released a new version of its Airframe motorcycle helmet with crash statistics.

The numbers you see on the helmet represent the crash statistics for that part of the helmet to be damaged in an accident. Therefore, it’s the likelihood of your head suffering injury in that area if you don’t wear a helmet, or for your nose or chin to hit the deck if wearing an open-face helmet.

One thing we can learn from this is, no matter how strong a helmet is, there’s always a chance that it might break. But that doesn’t give you a reason to not buy a good quality helmet. You can check the best motorcycle helmets by TeckFlock before buying one. The list includes the models which don’t just look cool, but are also sturdy. It also has a guide which can help you make an informed buying decision.

Interestingly, Icon also makes open-faced helmets! However, that hasn’t stopped them appealing to the safety conscious with this new design.Icon Airframe Statistic motorcycle helmets

The crash statistics come from the Hurt Report and show that the most common area of impact on motorcycle helmets is the chin at 19.4% which spells “ouch” for open-face helmet wearers. The least vulnerable place is the very top of the head at 0.4% which sort of makes a mockery of those little Nazi-styled caps some riders wear.

Icon helmets are no longer imported into Australia, but it’s a good helmet for the American market where some states still allow riders to choose not to wear a helmet.

For instance, according to a defense attorney at Anaya-McKedy, P.C. they’ve helped to free many clients who had earlier been incarcerated for riding without a helmet in the state of Colorado.

Icon Airframe Statistic motorcycle helmets crash statistics

According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for every 100 motorcyclists killed in crashes while not wearing a helmet, 37 could have been saved had they worn helmets. Yet, the use of motorcycle helmets in the US continues to decline to about half from 71% in 2000.

As for the argument about a full-face and open-face motorcycle helmets, I know I’ll be riding with an open-face helmet when I ride a Harley-Davidson Ultra Ltd from Rocky to Cairns over the next few days. It’s going to be hot and sticky work behind that huge fairing in North Queensland!

The options are to wear a full-face helmet and prevent an accident by not passing out from the heat and lack of fresh air or stay alert and avoid an accident in the open-face helmet.

  • What do you think: full face, open face or no helmet? Leave your comments below.

  1. I wear an open face lid, rain, hail, or frost. Full face lids are too constrictive on me as I feel like I’m stuck inside a fishbowl. If the law here allowed me to ride without a helmet up to say 80km/h I would jump at the chance. But, lids need to be worn on highways and motorways, even if only to cut down the massive wind-rush in your ears. I hate the Nanny State philosophy of protecting us from misadventure, and am happy to take my life in my hands, at my choosing.

    1. Hey Oldie,
      You are damn right one should love adventure, and I’m just like you, if government give me a chance to ride without helmet I’d jump over that opportunity. But its not in our hand, government and law has their own aim of protecting us, so they abide us in law.

  2. Brilliant marketing move by Icon. Likely to not have a big effect though. To be honest of what I’ve seen and heard, there are no where near as many American motorcyclists as there are casual/rare users of motorcycles. That is – people who casually ride motorcycles are more common in the US than they are in Aus or in Europe. Therefore it’s unsurprising that more people are using less gear than before the US market. As a motorcyclist in Aus, we get rorted re gear prices here, I personally would love to have access to the American market of safety gear without forking over an arm on shipping costs.

  3. Good on you Oldie – after all it’s your life to throw away, isn’t it? Oh, and I would like to offer you a job – with your ability to forecast with 100% accuracy that you will never ever have an accident under 80km/h, you must be a whiz at forecasting something as simple as the stock market.
    And of course, you killing yourself on the roads won’t affect anyone else, will it?
    It couldn’t possibly affect your friends or family.
    It definitely won’t affect anybody else involved in or who witnesses the accident.
    And there is no way on earth that the emergency crews who have to scrape you up off the road could ever be affected by dealing with a really nasty head injury, is there? After all, they’re not real people with real emotions are they?
    Oh, and the doctors and nurses who will try their hardest to save your life and then in the long term will try to restore some semblance of normality to the drooling, brain injured husk of a person in that rehabilitation bed – well, they just do it for the money and don’t care about the patients.
    Oldie, you may have got older, but you certainly haven’t grown up. Have you actually ever worn a modern full face helmet for more than 30 seconds? It’s not like being in a fish bowl, and in fact I only really notice mine when I get off the bike and have to remember to take it off.

  4. I have both open and full face helmets for different occasions and conditions. The open face is the helmet of choice for suburban <80km speeds – it offers better primary safety IMHO. Touring its the full face on a naked bike for weather protection. I will be touring the States next year and will take the opportunity to go 'helmetless' at some stage if for no other reason than the experience. I believe in freedom of choice.

  5. Agree with Tony. After 40yrs of open facing I’ve just bought a Shark Evo-Line S3. Whilst wearing a new Lazer Dragon I had to put up with screaming wind roar in one ear for 105klm. The wind was coming at such an angle I had to turn my head hard left to avoid the noise. My hearing’s pretty stuffed anyway but I’d like to hang onto what’s left of it. So for open road work I’ll now wear the Shark and at least have the option of dropping the lid.

    1. I agree with Wal and Tony. I have one of each also. If its a lovely day I might go the full face with sunnies and beats. Or in torrential rain I might wear it. Just for the visibility. A do-rag is also a must to soak up the sweat. In Singapore the maximum speed limit is 90kmh. The general speed on the expressways at low peak is about 60kmh. Much slower in peak. Open face are extremely common. Traffic is extremely dense…all the time. Even at these low speeds if you come off, there is a 95% chance something will hit you or run you over. No helmet will save you if you get hit in the head by another vehicle. I’ve seen it first hand..And it rains every day…and I mean every day, the place turns into a carpark with traffic on almost every street at jogging pace or less, and yet, collisions are extremely common, many of them at these speeds, most drivers are in attentive and on their devices. So its a broad judgement call. Riding across the border is a different story. The full face is the choice without exception and it’s wonderful.

  6. I had a helmet exemption up to the late eighties, it was great!! its my head.
    Gee david c everyone else probably notices when you take your helmet off
    the whining increases in volume.
    Its funny the ones I see wearing the flash gear are often doing speeds at which
    nothing will save them if they hit an immovable object
    My understanding is that impact on a solid immovable object at about 30km is usually fatal
    people are hopping onto abs, traction controlled bikes, Wearing the best available gear
    with bugger all in the way of basic self preservation skills.
    I reckon they should make helmets illegal .wearing of thongs and singlets compulsory
    Plus remove air bags and seat belts from all cars and 4wd’s and put a spike in the middle
    of the steering column aimed straight at the drivers chest
    I bet the road toll would drop by half overnight
    And better still people like david would go and find something safe to do like mini golf.
    and writing to the papers about noisy children and barking dogs

    1. That is a horrible idea. Not to be rude or anything. People need to get places that are far distances away, so they will get in a car or a motorcycle. They need protection. We can’t just stop driving. Right? Btw you are joking, right?

  7. How come the numbers don’t add up to 100% (or 50% if it is the same on the other side)?

  8. Generally speaking, I rail at the Nanny state with their safety-crats and fun police sucking the fun out of just about every field of life. However, now I happily wear a seat belt, they clearly save lives – I didn’t think so back in the day (poor appreciation of the facts). From my earliest days riding I preferred a full face because it seemed to me to be a no-brainer!
    If you knew you were going to have an “off” (but not what type – ie, at 20 kmh or 110kmh, etc) on your next ride what would you prefer to have on your head?

  9. If you value safety there can be no option -full face helmet-
    They get better and better , look at the ICON stats it is the chin which cops it the most , right where open face helmets don’t protect.
    Then you need goggles with open face to protect your eyes , the only problems I’ve ever had with my FFH has when the visor was up and I got hit in the eye with an insect.

  10. Your final thought about a full face helmet being so much hotter than an open face seems to be the deciding factor in your decision to go open face. That sounds a lot like a flimsy excuse to me as properly vented full face helmets are really not all that much hotter than an open face. Providing your windscreen is of the proper height so as to allow clean air to be passing across your face full face and modular helmets provide plenty of ventilation for even the hottest days on the road. In the end though, it IS your choice to wear an open face helmet so that everyone can see that it really is you that owns a Harley. Of course if you do crash with that open face, they will also see how bad that choice was with how mangled your face is.

  11. I figure a bandana might hold my head together if I fly off my bike, if not at least it should be a quick death. its fun riding without a helmet I love it. I’m in TX where thank God we don’t have to wear helmets over 21 yrs old.

    1. Except you may not actually die and become a burden to your surviving family because you’ll be a vegetable. If you ride without a helmet, you’re an idiot. If you ride without a full face helmet, you’re a fool.

      1. Less likely to get in an accident in the first place not wearing a helmet, genius. You take less risks, cars tend to avoid you more, and your head isn’t a bobble head destined for the pavement.

        Besides being safer without a helmet, riding is way more enjoyable. By the time you dress up with all the gear people like you spout about you might as well just drive a car. You are less aware wearing all that garbage.

  12. Full Face is safer. I have always worn a full face helmet for the fact that when you crash your head is going to take a lot less injury wearing a full face versus a open face where u have very little protection in the event of a crash

  13. I’ve worn full face helmet in 30c+ degree weather in stop and go traffic, it wasn’t ideal but it wasn’t that bad either. Once you get moving it’s totally fine.

    Also if wind in your ears is loud, just wear some ear plugs. “Wah my ears hurt from ear plugs” well then you’re screwed I guess.

  14. Be it seat belts or helmets, one can’t compromise with safety while travelling in a vehicle. Not only it’s important for our safety, but others too. Helmet, a small safety equipment has saved millions of lives and there is enough proof of the same.

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