Posted on Mar 12, 2020

Person standing with an undamaged motorcycle helmet

No rider ever wants to assume that they’ll one day be involved in a motorcycle crash. The many risks associated with a collision on a motorcycle can often be enough to keep people from riding entirely. Others don't let that possibility stop them from getting behind the handlebars and they make sure to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves in the event that an accident does occur.

For many riders, these precautions include wearing a DOT-certified motorcycle helmet. A motorcycle helmet is one of the best ways to increase your chances of survival if you fall off your motorcycle, are struck while riding your motorcycle or are thrown from your motorcycle.

What most riders do not know, however, is that if you are involved in a motorcycle accident that causes even the slightest impact to your helmet, you must not use that same helmet again.

While many riders would argue that helmets are very expensive and question whether or not they should replace them after one small fall. After all, there might just be a few scratches on your helmet, can’t you just keep using it for casual rides around town or out in the country?

Well, the answer to that is “no.” Even low-impact crashes can cause the protective lining of the motorcycle helmet to decompress, which decreases the chances of it effectively protecting you in another crash.

Snell, a private, not-for-profit organization that sets voluntary standards for motorcycles in the United States, stated on their website that the protective foam liner in a helmet starts to crush and break following the slightest collisions. Once the integrity of the protective layer is compromised, the helmet is rendered almost entirely useless for future use as it can no longer absorb the many forces exerted on a rider’s head during a crash, meaning their head will be absorbing those forces instead causing serious damage.

For these reasons, we urge all riders who elect to use helmets to replace them should they ever be involved in a crash. No amount of money saved can justify a helmet failing to protect you in a potential accident and possibly causing irreparable harm or even death.

For more motorcycle news and articles, please check out the Current News for Riders page on

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.