Can I use a helmet that’s been in an accident?
A helmet is the main passive safety element of a motorcyclist. Protecting your head against possible impacts is fundamental to avoid or reduce injuries.
As we’ve already mentioned on other occasions, it’s recommendable to wear an integral helmet (because it protects your whole head) in the size that best adapts to you and always wear it well done up. Their useful life is usually around five years, though helmets receiving an impact before the end of their lifecycle should be replaced.
Sometimes the helmet might fall on the floor or receive a slight knock during a fall and not appear to have any imperfections.
We might not think that the impact was serious and may even continue wearing it.
However, we should stop using it and just keep it as a memento.
Helmets are made from an outer shell that protects our head from the impact and scrapes from the accident. With one accident, we can see that it hasn’t suffered much external damage.
But inside our head is out brain, the most important organ in our body. To protect it, helmets have a structure with a layer of Styrofoam and other material that absorbs the impact, reducing or canceling out the internal damage in our head. The layer did its job by breaking its internal structure to mitigate the impact.
However, if this same helmet suffers a second impact, the layer that should absorb the new impact can’t do its job given that it was seriously weakened or even unusable following the first impact. The original properties of the material have been lost, so the helmet is useless and wouldn’t efficiently absorb a second impact, leaving the motorcyclist’s head uncovered.
Therefore, we recommend that if you have been in an accident or if you have dropped your helmet on the floor from a considerable height, don’t use it again and buy a new integral helmet. Whatever it takes to keep you safe.