By attaching a high-quality action camera to their helmets, motorcyclists are given the ability to relive their favorite excursions and share their experiences with fellow riders. A quick YouTube search also reveals numerous motorcycle helmet cam clips of inattentive, careless or angry drivers putting riders’ lives in danger. These types of videos raise awareness about the risks motorcyclists face on the road, and can even be used as evidence if an incident ends in a criminal act or injury.
Helmet cams are generally considered a safe modification, but there are a few pitfalls you should avoid if you plan on riding with one.
5 Motorcycle Helmet Cam Dangers
1. Power tools can ruin your gear.
One way a helmet cam could put you in serious danger on the road is if the structural integrity of your helmet is compromised during the installation process. Never secure a camera mount on your helmet using a drill or other power tool. Not only could this type of modification ruin an expensive piece of gear and void your warranty, it could also weaken your helmet’s protective capabilities. Most helmet cam mounts can be secured using adhesives or suction devices, but double check before making your purchase.
2. Using larger models could lead to injuries.
With so many options on the market, it can be tough to decide which type of action camera best suits your needs. When it comes to helmet cams and mounts, smaller is better. If the device fails to break away on impact in a crash, it could potentially catch the road or an object in the rider’s path, pulling their head or neck in a different direction. Choosing a model that sits closer to the helmet is an easy way to minimize this risk.
3. Placement of your cam is vital.
The chin offers the most aerodynamic positioning, but mounting your cam here can be tricky if you’re working with a pointed or angular chin bar. Placing the mount on either side of the helmet could result in uneven weight distribution, possibly leading to neck fatigue or straining. Mounting the camera on top of your helmet, or on either side, will likely result in some wind drag and could slightly pull your helmet in the direct of the camera depending on your speed. Test out the various positions and decide which one you find most comfortable and least distracting.
4. Showing off could put you in harm’s way.
As tempting as it may be to try out a new maneuver or take a risky route to capture a clip that will impress your riding buddies, no video is worth the risk of injuring yourself or others. Additionally, if another motorist cuts you off or instigates an altercation, resist the urge to further provoke them under the assumption your helmet cam footage will work in your favor. Motorists prone to road rage can be unpredictable, and you could quickly find yourself in a life-threatening situation.
5. Do your research.
Research laws in your area regarding the use of video and audio recording devices both in public and in interactions with law enforcement. Also, take into consideration any safety regulations involving modifications to motorcycle helmets, and be sure your helmet will still be compliant after you’ve mounted the camera.
Do you use a GoPro or helmet cam on your rides? Why did you begin wearing one, or why do you choose not to? Share your thoughts in the comments!