April is Motorcycle Helmet Safety month. So, if your riding season is just beginning or coming to an end you should check your helmet for any issues that could risk your safety.
What do you look for when performing a safety check on your motorcycle helmet? Different manufactures state similar and different things to check, please referrer to your helmets makers directions for the best information.
However, there are some generic checks you can do that will cover many areas to make sure your helmet is still safe. Here are the a few things you need to look for:
1) Is the shell all in one piece? No cracks or splits?
2) Are the straps and connectors in good shape, no adverse wear or tear?
3) The internal padding is connected and stays in place?
4) Remove the padding and check the foam. Is it dented or have cracks?
5) While looking at the foam, most companies place a sticker printed with the helmet’s birthday. Is it over 5 years old?
6) Does the rest of the internals look in good operating condition?
7) Check the visor for damage that might obscure your vision, can you see clearly?
8) Are the screws or other visor attachments tight?
9) Make sure that insects/creatures are not living in your helmet, see the photos below!
Checklist item 5 is the 5-year rule. Most manufactures recommend that after 5 years you replace your helmet. While the cynical among us will cite the “more money” theory of why they want it replaced there is evidence that the foam lining (the part that does most of the work in a crash) does deteriorate over time. It is your head, so it is your decision to replace or not if everything looks good.
For more you can check out HelmetCheck.org.