All over the world, helmets are recognized as the single most effective piece of gear when it comes to keeping riders alive in the event of a motorcycle accident. There’s a reason why helmets are the bare minimum requirement for most countries around the world. So it goes without saying that having a helmet that’s been certified to the latest safety standards is common sense, right?

Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case, as lots of uncertified helmets continue to circulate in the market, especially in developing countries in Asia. In Malaysia, for example, a significant number of child motorcycle helmets have been found substandard in terms of safety.

ECE 22.06 Explained - Arai Helmet

Helmet safety standards exist for a reason, and that reason is simple: to minimize head injuries in the event of an accident. While the ECE 22.06—a standard we’ve talked about in great detail in the past—is generally considered the universal standard, several countries have their own standards in place. Malaysia is one of these countries, as it recently enacted the MS 1-2:2023, a newly developed helmet safety standard patterned after the global ECE standard.

Despite the implementation of new safety standards in the country, a glaring number of helmets—specifically children’s helmets—were found to be substandard. The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) and Road Safety Marshal Club of Malaysia (RSMC) recently purchased 10 children's motorcycle helmets, of which five failed to meet standards. The tests were conducted by the Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (Sirim).

Even more alarmingly, a report by Malaysian news publication The Star reveals that some retailers were reportedly unaware of the quality of the helmets they were selling to consumers. The report states that some sellers even claimed that their helmets met safety standards, all while having no labels or certifications to show.

KTM Factory Replica StaCyc 16eDrive - Riding

The doom and gloom continues when we take a look at bicycle helmets—something much more commonplace than kids’ motorcycle helmets. Thousands of kids ride their bikes around Malaysia every single day, and it’s alarming that more than half of kids’ bike helmets tested failed to meet current safety standards. In total, 11 helmets were bought and tested from retail outlets, with six of them failing the test. Meanwhile, out of the 10 helmets purchased online, seven of them didn’t meet safety standards.

Following these findings, the MMA and RSMC urged the authorities to take action to ensure that all motorcycle and bicycle helmets sold online and in stores meet either Malaysian or international safety standards—a task that’s clearly much easier said than done.

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At the end of the day, you and your kids’ safety on two wheels is in your hands. As the consumer, it’s ultimately our responsibility to do our research when buying stuff—be it from the food we put on our tables to the helmets we wear on our heads. There are a lot of trustworthy and reputable brand names that offer safe and affordable helmets for both cycling and motorcycling, and all it takes is a bit of research in order to make an educated decision.

Sure, it can be all too tempting to fall for irresistible deals on cheap helmets. But is you and your family’s safety really worth the risk?

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