When it comes to motorcycles, safety is one of the most important and often discussed topics. Nobody wants to get into an accident while riding their motorcycle.
This is why taking the best safety precautions is always highly recommended, and those safety precautions can take many forms. One of which is making sure you are wearing the right type of a motorcycle helmet.
What is the best color for a motorcycle helmet? White is the best color for a motorcycle helmet. Experts have found that white motorcycle helmets are the safest and most visible helmets a motorcycle rider can use. White helmets are associated with a 24% lower risk of crash-related injuries compared to black helmets.
The color of your motorcycle helmet is not just for looks. In fact, there’s evidence that the color of your helmet may be more important than once thought.
Or at least so important that you should take it into consideration before purchasing your next motorcycle helmet. Let’s take a look at what the data shows.
What color motorcycle helmet is most visible?
One study involving 1223 motorcyclists took note of various aspects of their riding gear and habits. The data they collected was then reviewed, and some interesting correlations were observed.
Light-colored motorcycle helmets are the most visible. Motorcycle helmets that are white, beige, cream, yellow, and orange were associated with a 19% decreased risk of crash-related injuries compared to dark-colored motorcycle helmets.
Light-colored motorcycle helmets are the most visible and easy to spot because they create a strong contrast between the helmet’s surface and the background and surrounding environment.
Thus, a light-colored helmet makes motorcyclists more conspicuous and visible from both short and long distances.
Are white motorcycle helmets safer?
Light-colored motorcycle helmets are safer than dark-colored helmets. And white motorcycle helmets are the safest from all the light-colored motorcycle helmets like yellow, orange, blue, and red.
Compared to black motorcycle helmets:
- Blue motorcycle helmets had a 4% reduced risk of crash-related injuries.
- Red motorcycle helmets had a 20% reduced risk.
- Yellow motorcycle helmets had a 21% reduced risk.
- Orange motorcycle helmets had a 21% reduced risk.
- White motorcycle helmets had a 24% reduced risk.
Those numbers are averages, and white helmets not only had the best safety rating but also had a much higher confidence interval. Despite yellow and orange being very close to white in terms of percentages, they had a much wider confidence interval, which is not ideal.
Is white a good color for a motorcycle helmet?
White is a good color for a motorcycle helmet. White is a good color that will make you stand out from the background environment, improving your visibility. On top of that, white motorcycle helmets will reflect more sunlight and remain cooler during the summer months.
We all know that a white car will have a cooler cabin temperature than a black car. The difference in temperatures can be as much as 9 to 11°F. But does that also apply to motorcycle helmets?
The difference in temperature between a black and a white helmet can be up to 20°F on the outside surface.
While riding, however, you may not notice any significant difference heat-wise. Usually, good quality helmets will have enough ventilation between your head and the foam shell, allowing the helmet to stay relatively cool.
However, on stoplights and particularly hot and sunny days, black motorcycle helmets tend to get really hot, in which case white really can make a difference.
What color helmet should I get?
If you are concerned about your safety and want to do everything in your power to make sure you are less likely to get into an accident on the road, it is recommended to make yourself as visible as possible.
Motorcycles are small, and the way they move will often trick the eye of even experienced drivers. A truck moving is a lot easier to spot. The speed at which it is moving and its trajectory are also easier to judge.
A motorcycle, on the other hand, is a lot more inconspicuous. So the rule of thumb is to make yourself as visible as possible.
It is recommended to get yourself a white helmet because it has the highest visibility index. Other light colored helmets like beige, cream, or yellow can also be used as they can still make you more visible to other riders and drivers—especially compared to black helmets.
Even car drivers will say that a white helmet will make you stand out. Hi-viz helmets can be even better as many drivers report that they are even easier to spot as they really do stand out.
Solid colors are usually better than broken up colors and patterns that may act as a camouflage.
In addition to that, it is worth mentioning that some motorcycle helmets also come with built-in reflective panels and tapes that will improve the rider’s visibility during the night.
Of course, this does not apply to one particular type of motorcycles. A while helmet will make you more visible regardless of what motorcycle you are riding. It can be a tourer, a sportbike, a dirt bike, cruisers, etc.
Usually, laws regarding motorcycle helmets will state whether or not you should wear one. Laws typically do not say anything about what color of a helmet you should use.
The choice is ultimately up to you.
Even if you have a black motorcycle, your motorcycle helmet can still be white. There are no fashion rules that say your helmet needs to match your motorcycle. (And safety should come before fashion anyway.)
What is the worst color for a motorcycle helmet?
Black is the worst color for a motorcycle helmet—especially when combined with black gear and a black motorcycle without reflectors.
Black is hands down the most popular color for motorcycle helmets. However, it is not helping in making the rider more visible. Black does not create any significant contrast with its background surroundings, thus making the rider blend with the surrounding environment.
On top of that, black motorcycle helmets also tend to be a little warmer as they absorb the light better, thus converting it into heat.
Next to black can be ranked other darker colors, including even blue.
Does the color of your motorcycle helmet matter?
The color of your motorcycle helmet matters because it can improve your safety considerably by making you more conspicuous and easier to spot.
Motorcyclists may, on average, get into fewer incidents. However, the problem is that the outcomes of said motorcycle incidents are always more severe because motorcycle riders are at higher risk of more severe and even fatal accidents compared to car drivers.
See article: If you ride a motorcycle, will you eventually crash?
Because of that, every little bit that one can do in order to improve their odds of not getting into an accident does matter and is well worth their while.
Does the color of your motorcycle and gear matter?
According to the same study mentioned above, the color of your motorcycle may not have such a big impact on your visibility as previously thought.
The researchers examined various different data and were not capable of finding a correlation between the frontal color and the overall crash risk. However, the study did have some limitations, so further research should be done before we draw any final conclusions.
See article: What is the safest color for a motorcycle?
Interestingly enough, other aspects of your motorcycle gear were found to have an impact on the overall visibility and safety of the rider.
Although wearing a highly visible motorcycle helmet may keep you safer, it should be noted that this should be combined with some other safety measures for the best results, like:
- Wearing reflective and fluorescent motorcycle gear.
- Keeping the headlight turned on (both during the day and night).
- Riding a brightly colored motorcycle.
That being said, it is not all about the color of your motorcycle helmet. You also need to invest in a high-quality helmet that will indeed offer the best protection to your head in an accident.
You may not necessarily need to spend a lot on a motorcycle helmet as beyond a certain price point, you pay for improved comfort and not safety.
See article: Are expensive motorcycle helmets worth it?
And lastly. Word to the wise. Wearing all of the best motorcycle gear, making yourself as visible as possible, and as protected as possible can only do so much.
Your skill, focus, concentration, and riding habits will ultimately keep you safe and enjoying your motorcycle for longer.