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4 signs it is time to shop for a new motorcycle helmet

It is hard to beat the thrill that comes with climbing onto a motorcycle and zooming around the Atlanta area. Every time you ride, though, you must wear protective gear. A safety-rated motorcycle helmet is essential for staying safe on your bike. After all, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, riding helmets saved nearly 2,000 lives in 2016 alone. 

Like many other things, motorcycle helmets do not last forever. Even if you spent a small fortune on a good one, you eventually must replace your riding helmet. Here are four signs it is time to shop for a new one: 

1. You have been in a crash 

While they typically have a useful life of up to five years, helmets protect your head for only one collision, crash or slide. Therefore, the most critical time to replace riding headgear is following a crash where you bumped your head. 

2. You dropped your helmet 

Even though the manufacturer made your helmet to withstand some serious impacts, you do not have to survive a crash to damage your helmet. On the contrary, drops can cause imperceptible cracks to form. These cracks may weaken your headgear's overall integrity. As such, if you have dropped your helmet, you may need to purchase a new one. 

3. You stored your helmet improperly 

Even though few riders read the information that comes with their helmets, you should. That is, your helmet’s instructions likely include important details about proper storage. Typically, though, you should store a helmet in a cool, dry place. If your helmet gets either too hot or wet, it may warp, crack or otherwise become ineffective. 

4. You changed hairstyles 

To protect your head, your helmet must fit correctly. While your head stops growing at some point, you may change its shape simply by getting a new hairdo. Accordingly, if your helmet no longer fits properly because you have outgrown it or changed hairstyles, you should invest in a new one. 

Even though helmets can be expensive, you do not want to rely on a damaged, defective or ill-fitting one to protect you during a motorcycle accident. Therefore, if any of the above situations applies to you or your helmet, shopping for a new one is a wise decision.

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