A helmet is the most important piece of safety gear you can wear. Simply wearing one doesn't guarantee it will protect your head. In addition, you must know how to use and take care of your helmet. For example, not securely fastening your chin strap negates the whole point of wearing a helmet. More helmet tips that help ensure your safety are discussed below.
Know When to Replace Your Helmet
A helmet does not last forever. It's made from materials that wear and degrade with usage. Repeated exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun, heat, exhaust fumes, sweat and oils change the properties of your helmet. It becomes weaker and more brittle. That is why it is recommended that helmets be replaced every five years.
Replace your helmet if you've been in an accident. Although it did its job during the accident, it's been exposed to impact forces and shock. Its ability to protect your head has been compromised as a result. Even if you haven't been in an accident, replace your helmet if it's chipped, gouged or otherwise appears damaged.
Take Proper Care of Your Helmet
Improper care of your helmet may reduce its life to less than five years. Avoid dropping it on the pavement or any hard surface. Don't store it near solvents, cleaning fluids or gasoline. Direct contact as well as exposure to the fumes of these types of fluids degrades it. Store your helmet in a cool place. Otherwise, the long-term exposure to heat will cause deterioration.
Get a Helmet That Conforms to the DOT or Snell Safety Standards
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Snell Memorial Foundation set safety standards for motorcycle helmets in the United States. Both require that helmets pass various impact tests. Helmets that meet these standards will have either a DOT or a Snell sticker.
Get a Comfortable Helmet
While rider comfort is a natural consideration when you buy a helmet, it also has safety implications. An uncomfortable helmet will make you less inclined to wear it. The discomfort also contributes to fatigue and rider distraction, both of which take your mind away from riding safely.
How you buy and care for your helmet means the difference between one that keeps you safe and one that's little more than a head ornament. Get a safe helmet, take good care of it and know when to retire it.
Stay safe on the road. Call Low Rate Insurance Agency at (817) 469-7283 for more information on Arlington motorcycle insurance.