While Texas makes it relatively easy for motorcyclists who are at least 21 to be exempt from having to wear a helmet, there’s no question that they can prevent catastrophic head injuries. However, your helmet must be in proper condition to work as it’s intended to.
If you’ve been in a crash on your motorcycle, you need to get a new helmet – even if it appears to be fine. Let’s look at what could be going on inside it that you can’t see.
The protective foam is likely damaged
Helmets contain a foam that’s intended to protect the head in a crash. However, once the helmet strikes the ground, a vehicle or another object, that foam is likely damaged. Expanded polystyrene (EPS)foam is only intended to offer protection in one impact. Helmets with expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam are sometimes marketed to survive multiple impacts. A helmet with EPP may still be safe if the impact it suffered wasn’t especially strong, but the foam is never going to be the same as it was before the crash. Therefore, it’s wise not to take a chance on using it again
The outer casing may have suffered internal damage
Even if the foam has survived the crash, the outer casing of your helmet may have been damaged. That damage may not be visible, but there could be internal cracks that minimize the protection the casing provides. That’s another reason why it’s best to play it safe and get a new helmet.
Note: Never give a helmet that’s been in an accident to a thrift store, other charity or anyone who could use it while riding. Check with your local helmet retailer to find out the best way to recycle or repurpose it safely.
A new helmet will be just one necessary expense after a crash. If your crash was caused by a driver or another motorcyclist, make sure that you don’t settle with their insurance company for less than you deserve for your expenses and damages.