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The first time I put on a full-face motorcycle helmet some months ago, I could barely get it on my head. I thought it was too tight, because it squished my cheeks in, and I could barely speak clearly. Thinking back, barely able to speak clearly was a sign that the helmet was in fact not too small at all. (Not being able to speak clearly is a good indication that the pads of the helmet fit snugly enough around one’s face to keep the jaw from caving in in the possible event of crashing face down.) Now when I put the helmet on, I can feel the helmet move as I shake my head. Not good at all.

I went to the Ducati-Triumph dealer on Sixth Avenue (Ave. of the Americas) off Spring Street to try on a new helmet. The extra helmets Jason has are all second hand, which means someone else’s head shaped the inside cushions. Quite possibly, the foam might have disintegrated over time, or a helmet might have been dropped, destroying the integrity of its protective abilities. Basically, if I have an accident wearing one of these used helmets, particularly while traveling at a high speed, there’s a chance I could suffer brain trauma, or some other head injury.

In 80% of motorcycle fatalities, helmets were an issue. Most head injuries happen on the face. 19% of head injuries happen on one side of the jaw. So, even though open face helmets look cool and allow the wnd to blow against your face, a full face helmet will protect your jaw.

Though helmet discussions are one of the most debated issues among the motorcyle community, I think I’ll choose safety over the wind. Besides, if you’re caught in the rain with an open face helmet at highway speed, it’s like getting shot in the face by a dozen BB guns.

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