Not all motorcycle helmets are equal

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama is one of 19 states that requires motorcyclists to wear helmets.

In the event of a crash, though, the choice of helmet could be the difference between life and death.

There’s a difference between a certified helmet and a novelty helmet.

They look like real motorcycle helmets, but they don’t meet federal Department of Transportation safety standards.

They’re also illegal to wear on motorcycles in states where helmets are required by law.

Sold mostly on the internet, the helmets come in flashy colors and are cheaper than certified helmets.

The National Highway Safety Administration estimates more than 800,000 novelty helmets are sold each year around the nation.

They’re legal as long as the manufacturers don’t make false claims about their safety.

One novelty maker is located in Birmingham.

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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