As the first week of April has now come and (almost) gone, we want to remind readers that this month is National Check Your Helmet Month. As such, don’t forget that the average life span for a helmet is three to five years. Numerous times we’ve seen riders wearing helmets far, far, older than five years simply because a visual inspection with their untrained eye deemed the helmet to be in acceptable working order.
A lot can happen in five years. Constant pounding from the sun’s rays and a five-year buildup of sweat and oils from your head can take their toll on a helmet’s internal composition, even if you don’t see it.
“The number of motorcycle crash fatalities has more than doubled since 1997,” says Ozzie Giglio, Principal of Windy City Motorcycle Company. “We know that helmets save lives and reduce health care costs. In fact, according to Advocates for Auto and Highway Safety, motorcycle helmets are currently preventing $17 billion in societal harm annually…but $8 billion in harm could be prevented if all motorcyclists wore helmets.”
“It’s not just enough to wear a helmet,” Giglio continues. “You have to make sure that is functional, well-fitting and able to do its job properly. Additionally, it’s important to be sure that riders properly maintain their helmets, otherwise they could greatly diminish its life-span and performance ability.”
Spring is the ideal time for this reminder, as Giglio says that many riders make unsafe choices about their helmets during the weather. “Many people leave their helmets in their garage, but if you live in a place like the Midwest that has fluctuating climates, that can be terrible for your helmet. We can swing from 100 degrees in summer to -20 in the winter, and helmets integrity gets questioned as it swells and shrinks in the Midwest weather pattern.”
Here are some of Giglio’s other tips for how to check your helmet’s functionality and perform maintenance:
Have other tips or advice about helmets and how to properly choose, wear, or care for one? Tell us in the comments below.