Essential for safe riding, a helmet is a must-have piece of motorcycle gear. To protect the wearer from an injury, a quality helmet uses a fiber shell that effectively disperses impact energy.
Under the shell, there is an EPS liner made of polystyrene beads that further absorb the impact energy. But what if you accidentally drop a motorcycle helmet? Will it provide the same level of protection in case of an accident?
What happens when you drop a helmet?
Though there might be no visible damage, some polystyrene beads inside the EPS liner will collapse every time you drop your helmet. Once deformed, they will not absorb shock. As for the shell, it may look intact, however, the tensile strength will decrease with each incident. In other words, you can protect both the interior and exterior of your helmet by not letting it fall to the ground.
Do I need to replace my motorcycle helmet if I drop it?
Well, there is no straightforward answer to this question. It will depend on various factors including the price of the helmet, the height it falls from, and the surface it hits. So, let’s look at several possible scenarios and see in which cases buying new gear is the only option.
Do I need to change my helmet if I fall from a low height?
If as a result of a collision or incident your helmet falls to the ground while you are wearing it, even from a low height, you will definitely need to replace it. The gear takes all the impact and the damaged motorcycle helmet won’t provide the necessary protection when you might need it most.
Do I need to change the helmet if it fell by itself, and I can see visible deformation?
If you accidentally drop your motorcycle helmet, you’ll need to examine the unit very carefully. Hitting the hard surface or sharp objects will cause deformation more often than not. Sure enough, a cracked motorcycle helmet will not perform its main task which is absorbing the impact energy to protect your head from bumps, bruises, and other injuries in case of a collision.
My helmet fell from a low height, should it be replaced?
Again, that depends on the surface it falls on. Though many people continue using their helmets after dropping them from several feet high, you should be aware that your helmet performance may degrade even if there are no visible damages. Offering excellent protection from injuries, more expensive helmets are more likely to shutter, so you will need to maintain them with care. This will eliminate the need for replacing them too often.
How to check if a motorcycle helmet is damaged?
Unfortunately, most motorcycle helmet damages cannot be seen by the naked eye. Though running through an MRI machine can actually show any imperfections, this expensive and rather complicated method is certainly not an option in most cases. On the other hand, to check if your costly helmet is still safe to use after you have dropped it, you can send the item to a helmet inspection company. Or, you can buy a new helmet to replace the old one.
How long can the helmet be used?
As you can see, a damaged motorcycle helmet should be replaced, but what if you handle your gear with care and never drop your helmet? In such a case, you’ll need to replace it at least every five years. Please, follow this link for more detailed information.
Proper storage of the helmet makes a difference
If you want your motorcycle helmet to faithfully serve you for years, proper storage is not less important than careful handling. Note that placing heavy items inside it, as well as hanging your helmet on a coat hanger can gradually deform the foam liner. If you ride a lot, make sure to use an additional helmet liner that will prevent sweat from deteriorating the inner materials. When not in use, put the item in its original bag and store it in a cool dry place. You will find more useful tips on storing your motorcycle helmet here.