As a motorcyclist, a helmet is a very personal item. The style you wear can say a lot about you or the riding you do. Replacing one can be costly, yet a helmet can save your life. How do you know when you need to replace yours, and what should you look for when buying one?
Is it safe to use a motorcycle helmet after a crash?
You should always throw your helmet away after a crash and buy a new one. Ideally, cut it in half to prevent someone else from picking it up and using it.
Can I still use my helmet if I dropped it?
You have no way of knowing how much a drop has weakened your helmet. All you can do is guess, based upon how far it fell or rolled and what it fell on. Dropping it on your couch when taking it off may not be a big deal. Dropping it down a flight of stairs would be.
Do motorcycle helmets have a limited lifespan?
Helmet manufacturers recommend you replace your helmet every five years, if not before. They base this on average usage, and if you wear yours a lot, you may want to do so more frequently. A helmet will not last forever, even if you never use it. However, wearing it and pulling it on and off causes the materials to degenerate the most.
What standards should the helmet meet?
There are various safety standards used for helmets across the world. All helmets sold in the U.S. must carry a Department of Transportation (DOT) sticker to show they meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. If they also have Snell Foundation certification, it is even better, as the standards are stricter.
Are some styles of helmet safer than others?
Full face helmets are safer than open-face ones as they protect your jaw in the event of a crash.
If someone knocks you off your motorcycle, the helmet you wear could be the difference between escaping with injuries or losing your life. If injured by a driver, replacing your helmet will be the least of your financial worries. Seek legal help to ensure you receive compensation to cover all expenses you incur.