December 11, 2023

There are numerous reasons to get on your bike, whether training for a race, trying to make your ride to work healthier, or simply looking for fresh air. However, regardless of the reason for your ride, you should always wear a bike helmet. However, you may wonder whether you should replace it and whether it is still as protective as it was when you first got it home. 

Helmet use is associated with a nearly 70% reduced likelihood of major brain injury in biking accidents. However, helmets are not invincible. Experts believe that following an accident, you should replace your bike helmet as quickly as possible. And if you have been in an accident, you should contact a Newport Beach bicycle accident attorney immediately. 

After a crash, a helmet may appear to be in good condition. Even if the inside foam has been damaged in an undetectable way, the outside plastic shell of the helmet may recover its original appearance. When you compress the foam, you reduce the safety margin. That will not protect you. 

Aside from crashes, many bike helmet manufacturers advise updating your helmet approximately every three to five years. However, there is no commonly accepted standard for how frequently you should upgrade your bike helmet. 

According to the Snell Foundation, a standards-setting body known for being one of the strictest in terms of helmet safety, normal wear-and-tear is sufficient for a helmet replacement approximately every five years or so, although this would not apply, for example, to an unused helmet stored in proper condition. Out of caution, upgrading your well-used helmet every five years is recommended. 

However, if you enjoy your old helmet and it is in good shape, some bike safety advocates suggest keeping it for longer would not necessarily place you in danger. However, additional compelling reasons for getting a new helmet may exist, such as enhanced safety technology included in some newer models. 

Signs that a helmet is compromised 

Regularly inspecting your helmet for damage is a good idea, but what should you look for? Any exposed EPS can begin to appear chipped or worn. Replace the polycarbonate shell if it has any kind of dent. People also believe that a small piece missing from the edge of the helmet is unimportant, yet there may be hidden damage to the helmet’s construction. Examine the EPS inside the vents for cracks or splitting. Also, if the polycarbonate shell is splitting from the EPS, it is time to replace it.