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When to Replace Your Helmet?

  05/16/2014 at 13:17 pm

When to Replace Your Helmet?

May 16, 2014

Five Times You Should Replace Your Helmet Immediately

This list describes the time to absolutely replace a helmet  if you care about it protecting you in an accident.  

If you missed our blog on the full subject you can link to  the full article below.
READ: Do You Really Need to Replace Motorcycle Helmets Every 3 to 5 Years That Were Never in an Accident?

  1. Helmets are single use.  They are designed for maximum protection by  absorbing impact once and once only.  Snell  has a great distinction here.  If you  drop an empty helmet it isn’t ruined.  An  impact with a head inside is typically what causes the helmet to lose function.  If you drop it at highway speeds or drop a  bike on it better to be safe than sorry.   Many manufacturers will test a helmet for damage or you can simply  replace it.  It is very risky to buy a  used helmet since you don’t know what happened to it before you bought it.  If you are devoting   the time and expense to have it tested, it is  better to just get a new one that will also have modern advancements in safety  and comfort.
  2. Beware of novelty helmets.  We certainly appreciate if you are fighting  for freedom of choice to wear a helmet or not in your state.  If we are required to wear a helmet anyway, we  are of the opinion we may as well wear one that will protect our head in an  event of an accident.  The Department of  Transportation (D.O.T.) has minimum requirements for helmet effectiveness,  FMVSS No. 218-certified.  If your helmet  isn’t DOT certified it was made as a novelty helmet.  All novelty helmets failed impact attenuation  & penetration tests performed by the DOT.
  3. If you have a beanie style helmet  that failed Snell certification be careful.  All Snell certified helmets do meet DOT  criteria.  All DOT helmets do not meet  Snell standards.  Snell Certification  means that Snell technicians in Snell labs tested samples of the helmet to  Snell Standards before the helmet was certified. Furthermore, as a condition of  certification, Snell regularly buys samples of all Snell certified products and  brings them into our lab for follow-up testing.   DOT certification is done on the honor system. The helmet's manufacturer  determines whether its helmets satisfy DOT and then claims the qualification  for himself. There is not even a reporting requirement. The government does  contract for some spot check testing at commercial and private labs but not  very much. In recent years much of their effort has been spent against  so-called beanie helmets that are obviously substandard and are worn only by  helmet law protesters.
  4. If your helmet doesn’t fit properly  nothing else matters.  The  most expensive helmet with the best certifications won’t protect you if it  doesn’t fit properly or worse, falls off in an accident.  Often we put the ones we love most on the  back of our bike with our spare helmet.   Protect your kids, spouses, and friends with a properly fitting  helmet.  Eagle Leather staff are trained  to help you get the right fit.
  5. Old helmets may not be safe.  Sunlight, time, and petroleum  based products in cleaners and paint all degrade helmets.  All helmet manufactures, safety counsels, and  independent associations recommend replacing a helmet every 3-5 years.  Considering the cost of a helmet this may  seem excessive.  The blog mentioned above  does a more in depth discussion of the subject, but here are the obvious times  to replace a helmet.  Anytime it has worn  or degraded straps or padding.   Not only could this jeopardize fit, but could  also be a sign of what is going on with the foam that protects you from  impact.  We all love our old helmets, but  if you have an old helmet, especially one that has been painted or cleaned with  chemicals, do yourself a favor and protect yourself with a new one.   All manufacturers are consistently making  progress on safety, fit, and design.  You  may be pleasantly surprised that the new one feels and looks better and as a  bonus, protects you better too.  

Be safe and enjoy the ride,
Mike Toursal
Owner, Eagle Leather

By Eagle Leather