Everyone knows that a responsible motorcycle rider wears a helmet, especially in states where it is required by law. If you’ve been using the same helmet for a while, you may be wondering when it’s time to replace your helmet. You can’t wear the same helmet forever, but the protective headgear should last awhile. However, there are a lot of factors that go into the longevity. Here are some things to consider when deciding if it’s time to replace your motorcycle helmet.
What Is Your Helmet’s Age?
One of the first things you need to ask is what is your helmet’s age? Consider just how long you’ve had your motorcycle helmet. Helmets, like anything else, have a lifespan. After a certain amount of time or damage, yours may not work as well any more.
You need to think about how old your helmet is as well as how much use you’ve gotten out of it. If it sits on a shelf and only sees the light of day once or twice a year, you’ll be able to use it longer than a helmet that gets put on every single day.
Also, you need to be mindful of antique helmets. It can be cool to own an old helmet, but a classic should remain on display. You don’t want to trust an older helmet to protect you.
Have You Been in Accidents?
While out riding, have you been in an accident that’s resulted in damage to your helmet? An accident puts a helmet through a lot. This trauma could make it less effective. You also need to consider the intensity of the impact your helmet endured. A helmet that only went through a mild impact will be more likely to work properly and sufficiently protect you.
However, if you have been in an accident, you should replace the helmet before going out on your bike again. The helmet will have gone through what is known as “shock,” which makes it less untrustworthy. It doesn’t matter if it looks intact; you should still replace it.
Is Your Helmet Loose?
Some people may think something is wrong with their helmets when in reality, the headgear may not fit properly. Is your helmet loose, or could you just use a lesson on how a helmet should properly fit?
Your helmet should fit tightly. This isn’t always the most comfortable thing. While you don’t want to hurt yourself, you should be sure to secure your helmet tightly enough. A loose helmet can be seriously dangerous. A loose helmet can move and distract you as well as come off during an accident. If a helmet comes off during an accident, you could hit your head.
There are a couple of ways to tell whether your helmet is too loose. One of the easiest ways is if your helmet moves at all while you are wearing it. If you have a smaller head, your helmet may simply be too large for you. There are options to put pads in the helmet, but, considering the possible consequences, it’s best to just get a new helmet.
Is the Interior or Exterior Deteriorating?
Naturally, you don’t want your helmet to be damaged in any way. Your helmet is designed in a specific way to protect you. Even small damage to the helmet could significantly reduce the effectiveness of the helmet. If you’re examining your helmet and asking yourself, “Is the interior or exterior deteriorating?,” some things to look out for include missing parts, cracks, and worn-down areas.
It’s important to distinguish the difference between cosmetic issues and the actual deterioration of the item. Just because the helmet is discolored or fading doesn’t mean that it needs to be replaced. However, a crack or missing piece is a serious problem.
Do You Have Strap or Lock Failure?
A helmet isn’t worth much if it can’t stay on your head. That’s why you secure the helmet in place with a strap underneath your chin and a lock at the end of the strap. Do you have strap or lock failure? If so, it’s time to get a new helmet.
The strap cannot be frayed or ripped in any places. You don’t want the strap to be able to rip off easily. Even worse is if the strap struggles to connect into the lock. You need to hear a click to know that it’s locked properly. If you don’t hear a click, you can probably just pull the strap from the lock with no trouble. That means your helmet can fly off with no trouble.
If you have answered yes to any of these, it’s probably time to get a new motorcycle helmet. Use this as an opportunity to spoil yourself with a helmet you’ve always wanted. You can always hold on to your old helmet for the nostalgic value if you really don’t want to get rid of it.