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Most riders believe that helmets are no longer usable after being dropped mistakenly from even the height of a motorcycle seat or handlebars. The structural damage to the helmet due to the fall may not be visible from the outside but can pose several risks to your safety. Is it a myth, misconception, or a fact? Continue reading this article to learn whether dropping a motorcycle helmet ruins it.
1. How Important It Is to Wear a Helmet While Riding?
Motorcycle helmets are not just simple shells that cover your head, face, and skull. They are carefully designed, built, and tested to ensure maximum protection from forceful impacts resulting from motorcycle crashes. Helmets can save you from life-threatening head and brain injuries in the event of a motorcycle crash. They are the most important part of safety riding gear and must be worn at all times while riding a motorcycle. Most deaths as a result of motorcycle accidents occur due to head and brain injuries. Your head and face are the most sensitive body parts and even a small impact can cause you to lose your senses, balance, and your ability to see, judge, and respond. Even a small injury to your head or brain can result in a concussion, permanent paralysis, or even death in serious cases. So, make sure to always wear a DOT-approved full-face helmet while riding your motorcycle. Do not continue to use your old helmet if it is cracked, scratched badly, and damaged from the inside. Buying a good-quality helmet is a good investment to ensure safety and save yourself from serious injuries.
2. Does Dropping a Motorcycle Helmet Ruin It?
2.1 Fall Height
It depends on the height from where the helmet has fallen and the impact of the fall. Suppose you hung the helmet on the handlebars or any other part of the motorcycle because you were in a hurry and it fell off from there and hit the ground. In such a scenario, you do not need to replace it. Similarly, if you are walking and your helmet falls from your hand and hits the ground, you do not need to buy a new one. It may well cause cosmetic damage or scratches on the outer surface but it will not make the helmet useless. This is a misconception in the mind of most riders that a helmet should not be used if it has fallen on the ground even from a small height. So, dropping a motorcycle helmet does not ruin it. However, try to avoid dropping the helmet and you may not want to even scratch your helmet, especially if it costs you around $300 to $1000.
If the damage to the helmet is only on the exterior, you can easily hide the scratches and marks by painting your helmet. Click on the links below to learn how to paint your motorcycle helmet and make it look new and appealing.
2.2 Helmet Quality and Material
Photo credit: @Motorcycle Helmet Hub
The damage done to a helmet due to a fall also depends on the quality and material used to manufacture it. Low and moderate-quality helmets are equipped with polycarbonate and thermoplastic shells that crack when they hit the ground with force as a result of a motorcycle crash. Meanwhile, most good-quality helmets are equipped with fiber shells which increases their strength and resistance to damage and cracks. Unlike polycarbonate and thermoplastic shells, fiber shells get scattered in a web pattern due to a forceful impact, resulting from a motorcycle crash.
When a helmet gets hit at a certain spot on its surface, it may not break but a crack or a web pattern may appear on the shell. If the helmet gets hit on the same spot three to four times, it can break. Therefore, helmets must be handled and stored with care if you do not want to compromise on their strength.
2.3 Damage Due to a Motorcycle Crash
If a rider experiences a motorcycle crash while wearing a helmet, the force with which the helmet falls and hits the ground, may result in damage to its inner shell. The cracks and damage to the helmet may not be visible from the outside, but it can be risky to use it. Therefore riders should avoid using a helmet that has been damaged in a motorcycle crash and replace it with a new one.
Helmets are designed and tested to withstand brutal impacts caused by motorcycle crashes and collisions, with the aim of protecting your head/skull from serious injuries and damage. There is a foam liner inside the helmet which is compressible in nature and absorbs the most impact. When a motorcyclist suffers from a motorcycle crash while hitting his head somewhere on the road, the helmet gets damaged and must not be used again.
Video credit: @Look At Me Luis
3. When Should You Replace Your Helmet?
Despite the advancement in technology and high-strength materials being used to manufacture motorcycle helmets, they must be replaced every three to five years. However, if it shows signs of damage due to not being taken care of or has experienced a motorcycle crash, you should replace your helmet before time.
Also Read: MOTORCYCLE HELMET CARE GUIDE
If your helmet tips over from your motorcycle handlebars, or seat, or it slips mistakenly from your hand while walking, it will not damage it, and you can continue using your helmet. However, if the helmet has suffered internal damage as a result of a motorcycle crash while the rider was wearing it, it must be replaced with a new one even if the crack is not visible from the outside. A helmet is the most important riding gear and plays a significant role in ensuring the rider’s safety. It can save you from serious head and brain injuries in the event of a motorcycle crash. If you are a motorcycle rider, always wear a DOT-approved helmet during the ride.
Apart from your safety, you can also improve your motorcycle safety and comfort by customizing your motorcycle with valuable aftermarket parts available at Viking Bags, including crash bars, sissy bars, fairings, pulled-back handlebars, cushioned seats, and backrests. Viking Bags also offers saddlebags, tank bags, and other luggage options specially designed for your motorcycle to increase its storage capacity.