People say nothing lasts forever, they’re right, helmets don’t either. If you really care about yourself, don’t wait till it is breaking into pieces. Pay attention to the signs and get it replaced on time. Otherwise, you’ll be hanging out with your ancestors in the world above. No kidding.
Your head will always be prone to maximum risk during any motorcycle accident. Of course, you cannot pad up and wear leather pants, or jackets, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, and shin guards to work every day. You should, however, always wear a helmet. It doesn’t cost much, doesn’t take much time, and won’t take much of your space on the office desk either.
Also, you can’t keep using one helmet all your life. No matter how safe you keep it or how carefully you use it, it will age. These are some signs you need to look for to know when to replace your helmet. That’s what we’ll be targeting in this article.
There comes a time when you’re in dire need of a helmet replace but most people never pay heed to that part. We’re targeting that mindset – it needs to change ASAP. Look for these things to find out whether your bike helmet needs a replacement anytime soon:
Age of the helmet
A helmet from the seventies which is coming down generation to generation will not be able to save you in an accident. You’d be really lucky if you get through it with just a few scratches. Try your luck in a casino, not on the road. Old helmets deteriorate. If nothing, the interior starts drying out with time and falling out in small pieces. A helmet kept safe over decades will be of no use and you will have to buy a new one before you ride your bike.
Since helmets come in handy and are used on a daily basis, the wear and tear will make it shred. Greater usage will reduce the lifespan of helmets. So, the more you use it, the more the helmet will have to take on the dirt and damage. This will reduce the efficiency of the helmet and you will be required to replace it as soon as possible.
Accidental History of the helmet
If your helmet has ever been in an accident, its best to replace it immediately afterwards. There is a thin plastic shell around the helmet which can be damaged even with the smallest impact and thus can compromise the structure of the internal foam shell.
It is the foam that helps to disperse the energy from colliding and once it is damaged, it won’t be able to save you the same way again if you tumble. Once you have a fall with significant damage on the helmet, know that it’s time to discard the helmet and get a new one. Avoid gambling with your life – there’s no other way to put it.
Improper fitting and Condition
Does your helmet still sit the same way when you bought it from the store? Do you still enjoy how it feels when it sits on your head or while you’re riding? If it feels loose or uncomfortable, moves when you encounter a speed breaker, you need to immediately replace it before it falls off your head during a bumpy ride.
Before you ride, put on your helmet, shake your head to the left, to the right, frontwards, backwards, if it moves, you know you both – the helmet and yourself – have to separate. And it’s a helmet, not a traditional sneaker (that feels even better with age).
It is very important to know in what condition your helmet is from the inside before using it. If the interior of the helmet is deteriorated or the foam inside has been damaged or torn apart, you need to change your helmet as soon as possible. Even a slight dent on the inside of the helmet can cause serious problems for the rider. So, make sure that the helmet is in perfect shape and condition from the inside, or its time to part with it and get a new one.
Condition of the exterior side
Along with the interior of the helmet it is equally important to check how the helmet is from the outside; are there any cracks on the helmet? Is there any part of the helmet that is broken? Is any of its pieces missing? Always check the outer shell for any dents, check if the straps are fraying, and check if the plastic buckles are in their place and in working order. If you find any of the helmets partially tampered, maybe it’s time to consider changing your helmet.
Strap lock malfunction or failure
Check the straps if they function properly. If they open up themselves, you need to replace your helmet. If they do not hold the helmet in place, change your helmet. If the strap is tearing, change your helmet. Strap is what keeps the helmets in place, if there’s a problem with the strap, there’s no room for any second thought.
There Are Improved, More Efficient Models in the Market
Manufacturers are trying to improve the quality of helmets by introducing new varieties almost each year. Using a helmet which does not have the newest safety and protection features may cause your own self serious troubles.
If you happen to come across new and improved helmets, whether you see a friend using one or advertisements on the television, consider buying a new helmet as early as you can. We advise you not to think if you bought the current helmet last year or 6 months ago, the harsh reality is that it has to go.
How To Increase the Lifespan of Your Helmets?
If you take extraordinary care of your helmets, there is a chance that it may last longer than most people’s. On an average a motorcycle helmet doesn’t last more than 3 years for regular bikers. Here are some ways you can increase the lifespan of your helmets:
- Handle with care, try to hold it tight so you can avoid it from dropping
- Put in in a bag or case, don’t leave it open in the air, but make sure some air reaches it so that the sweat smell doesn’t build up
- Clean it properly once every 3 months, and once every 6 months if your usage is less
- Replace the visors when you see scratches appearing on it.
- Change the interior padding if it is wearing out, or if it isn’t a snug fit
- Protect your helmets from harsh UV rays, these damage the outer shell material
Moral of the story
You must always wear a motorcycle helmet when you ride. It will be your savior in case you meet any accident. It may or may not be your fault, however, protecting yourself will always be your responsibility and yours only.
There are numerous reasons that will direct that you need to replace your bike helmet; however, you don’t need all of them.
You just need one reason, to get a new helmet. Do not wait for all of these signs to show up – as soon as a few signs show up, know that it’s new helmet’s time to shine.
You care about your life, right? Do not ignore the signs intentionally to save a couple bucks, because that can potentially cost you way more; even your life. Many experts say you should replace your motorcycle helmet every five years to ensure your safety, whether you see your helmet deteriorating or not.
Many believe this is just a marketing strategy to sell more and more helmets, but now you know that helmets age fast and they definitely do not age well. Therefore, helmets should be replaced within 5 years or less. Even if you keep it safe like one would keep their jewels, helmets still need to be replaced after a certain duration.