Can you use motorcycle helmets for car racing?

What is the reason your motorcycle helmet is not suitable for car racing? It looks similar, and if it’s good enough for motorcycles indeed in a car, it will provide more than enough protection to the driver!

You cannot use a motorcycle helmet for car racing for several reasons. Car racing helmets are certified differently. Motorcycle helmets are aerodynamic to reduce wind noise. A motorcycle helmet will have different impact zones than a car helmet during an accident.

Can you wear a motorcycle helmet for car racing?

No. Motorcycle helmets are manufactured to be aerodynamic and reduce wind noise for comfort while protecting your skull. They are very different in the way the helmet is constructed.

Then there is the certification for all racing helmets coming from Snell. If your helmet does not meet the Snell requirements for car racing, then you will not be allowed to participate in the race.

In most cases, if you are in an accident on your motorcycle, there will be only one significant impact on your helmet. It’s scientifically researched that this is the case, so your motorcycle helmet is reinforced in susceptible areas for impact.

Motorcyclists tend to slide after the initial impact after an accident, or this is why a lot of attention is applied to the outer projection for motorcyclists.

Car racing helmets are designed differently. If you have a significant impact in a car, your head is likely to receive multiple impacts (imagine a car rolling) so, the helmet is reinforced to protect the driver.

Car racing helmets have threaded inserts to attach HANS (head and neck restraint). We all see Formula One drivers wearing this brace to support the forces experienced in the neck.

Racing car helmets are lined with Nomex and a fire retardant visor; it is more likely for a racing car driver to be trapped in a burning wreck than a motorcycle rider.

Nomex gives the driver added seconds of protection while he waits for rescue to extricate him from the vehicle.

Interestingly racing car helmets with strict certification may not be street legal!

What’s the difference between a motorcycle helmet and a race car helmet?

There are significant differences between the two helmets. A racing car helmet is designed to withstand multiple impacts in the event of an accident.

When a racing car is in a collision, it is expected the driver will be experiencing some big impacts; the racing car is fitted with a roll cage that protrudes inside the cabin unless it’s high-end racing.

Cars catch on fire, so the racing car helmet is fire retardant.

A motorcycle helmet is expected to experience only one enormous impact in an accident and is designed to absorb that impact.

Motorcyclists rarely experience a fire in an accident, so the helmet is not fire retardant in the same way as a car helmet.

Racing car and motorcycle helmets are two different beasts and should not be interchanged.