If you’re polishing your motorcycle in the garage in anticipation of taking it out again when winter finally seems to be gone for good (or at least until later this year), it’s wise to consider whether you need a new helmet. Even though Indiana law only requires those under 18 and/or with a learner’s permit to wear a helmet, everyone should wear one to help protect their head in a crash or even a fall from their bike.
A good motorcycle helmet can last for years. How much wear and tear it gets determines whether a helmet needs to be replaced. Many manufacturers recommend replacing your helmet at least every five years. That’s because all helmets weaken over time. The sun’s UV rays, rain and even temperature fluctuations can affect the protective value of the materials in the helmet.
Of course, that’s assuming you haven’t been in a crash or it hasn’t otherwise been noticeably damaged. Even if your helmet falls on a hard floor from the top of a closet, it can suffer damage.
Always replace after a crash
You should definitely replace it if you’ve been in a crash or even fell on your bike and your helmet struck the ground. As you probably know, these helmets have protective foam inside them that provides a sturdy barrier between the head and a hard surface. Once that foam has been disturbed, it won’t provide that protection any longer.
Note: You never want to give a used helmet away or donate it if there’s any chance that it’s been damaged. You also want to be careful about putting it in the trash where someone could find it and wear it. Check with the retailer where you get your new one about how to safely dispose of your old one.
If you’re involved in a crash, having a helmet that’s in good condition can make the difference between a fatal head injury and one you recover from. If you’ve been struck by a reckless or negligent driver or other motorcyclist, be sure you don’t settle for less than the compensation you need for expenses and other damages.