It’s really sad to see something like this accident happen. The passenger was wearing a “novelty helmet” which according to the California Highway Patrol, “…failed in the collision and significantly contributed to her death.” Sometimes called skid lids, novelty helmets are not DOT approved and are technically illegal in California and other states with similar helmet laws. They don’t offer any real impact protection and shouldn’t be worn in lieu of a real helmet.
If you’re new to motorcycling, a good helmet should be your first priority when it comes to safety gear. Make sure to get one that’s DOT and/or Snell M2010 approved because it means the helmet has gone through rigorous standardized testing to ensure the rider has a chance to withstand an impact.
Source article: The Press-Enterprise