How Often Do You Need to Replace an ATV Helmet?
Riding an ATV can be a lot of fun. It lets you explore tough terrains in new ways while testing your riding skills. Whether you are taking on mountain terrains or wooded trails, an ATV helmet is an important part of the ride since it keeps you safe in the event of an accident. While you may know how important it is to wear a helmet, you may be negating the safety of this item by not replacing it often enough. So, how often do you need to replace an ATV helmet? Let's take a closer look at the top reasons to replace your helmet.
The average guideline for how often to replace a helmet is generally 3-5 years. There are a few things to keep in mind about this figure. For starters, if you ride frequently during that time frame, it may be best to replace your helmet closer to the 3-year mark than the 4-year mark. Another thing to remember is that you can and should replace your helmet sooner than the 3-year mark in the event of an impact or a compromise of helmet integrity. While you have more freedom on replacing your helmet before the minimum 3-year average, the other end of the range should act as a hard line for replacement. You don't want to wear a helmet for more than 5 years since it can start to lose integrity and fit over time.
Many people think a helmet only needs to be replaced based on the time frame listed above. It is important to remember that the single most crucial factor when deciding whether to replace a helmet is the matter of impact. A helmet is meant to be a one-time impact solution. It is designed to take the brunt of a major impact to protect your head from injury and then discarded for a new helmet after the impact. If you have been in an accident and the helmet has experienced an impact, the protection is compromised so you need to replace it with a new one. If you continue wearing the same helmet after the first major impact, it will not offer the same protection on the second impact leading to injury or even death.
Youth to Adult
Another good time to replace an ATV helmet is if you are going from a youth size to an adult size. If the helmet starts to feel too tight, it can result in discomfort, poor fit, and may result in your teen choosing not to wear their helmet at all as a result. When a youth helmet starts to feel too tight or uncomfortable, it is time to upgrade to an adult-sized option to ensure proper safety.
A helmet is designed to sit close to the head on the interior. This tight fit ensures the skull and brain will not experience dangerous jostling in the event of an accident. Without this tight fit, riders can experience issues ranging from concussions to brain bleeds, if the force of the impact is strong enough. Helmets, especially helmets older than the suggested 5 year maximum, tend to lose their snug fit over time from the repeated pressure of putting it on and taking it off. If your helmet feels loose or you can turn it from side to side when it's on, you need to replace it ASAP to stay safe.
Signs of Damage
Finally, you want to replace your ATV helmet whenever there are signs of damage. This could be part of the interior padding that has come loose or even a crack in the surface of the outside of the helmet. For a helmet to offer the protection needed to keep you safe and alive in the event of an accident, it needs to be in good condition and free of signs of damage.