Dropped Motorcycle Helmet


As of 2022, only 18 states have laws that require motorcycle riders to wear helmets, while a few additional states have laws that cover minors on a motorcycle. Regardless of the laws, however, most motorcycle riders are concerned enough about their health that they will wear a motorcycle helmet. 

With a large number of motorcyclists around the country owning helmets, the chances of an accidentally dropped motorcycle helmet are highly inevitable. But, is it the end of the world?

One thing is for sure, wearing an undamaged motorcycle helmet is always going to be in your best interests as there is zero bodily protection when you’re on the back of a motorcycle.

But what do you do if you happen to drop your motorcycle helmet? Is it compromised?

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Damage snell certified motorcycle helmet
Copyright: Image by Jordan Schwartz

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Dropped Motorcycle Helmet

Dropping your motorcycle helmet is probably not the end of the world unless you drop it from a significant height or fill it with bricks before you drop it. It’s not as if they manufacture motorcycle helmets without considering the idea that a future owner might drop one. 

There are a lot of variables worth considering and while most manufacturers would suggest that you get a new one, they have a working incentive to get you to buy another helmet soon. With that being said, it’s difficult to accept their sincerity.

Dropping a motorcycle helmet, even from a short height will possibly leave scratches on the surface area of the helmet but it’s far more likely to crack the visor, if it causes any damage at all. It also depends on the height of the drop and what it’s landing on. Dropping your helmet on a mattress shouldn’t send you into fits of anxious hysteria, after all.

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man on motorcycle adjusting helmet
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If You Drop A Motorcycle Helmet Is It Ruined?

Probably not. Is it worth going over and thoroughly checking its integrity? Sure. But you should do that routinely regardless of whether or not the thing has ever been dropped. It’s always good to keep your safety equipment in the best shape possible just as a standard precaution. 

If you happen to crack the visor on it, so long as everything else checks out after you look it over, you can simply have the visor replaced. There are all kinds of places to purchase new visors, such as Revzilla or even Amazon.

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How To Check If Motorcycle Helmet Is Damaged

The biggest thing that you want to worry about if you drop your motorcycle helmet is the potential for weakened structural integrity. Fortunately, it’s a pretty simple task to go through and do your own safety inspection for helmet damage

On the downside, you can only really check two things and the visor doesn’t count because it’s either cracked or it isn’t. The outside of the helmet is the first place to look for helmet damage, checking for deep scratches or any kind of cracks.

Pay particular attention to very fine hairline cracks. Any cracks at all, no matter how small, are game over for your helmet’s protective qualities. Helmet damage needs to be taken seriously, and if you have any doubt have the damaged helmet checked by your local expert.

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Woman sitting on motorcycle holding helmet
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If your helmet cracks from a short drop on the kitchen floor, there’s a good chance that it wasn’t genuine, to begin with.

The liner inside is always worth a look, even though a short drop shouldn’t have any kind of detrimental effect on it. The liners inside of these helmets are bonded to the inside of the shell pretty well, so there shouldn’t be any movement and the material shouldn’t be separating.

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Should You Replace A Motorcycle Helmet If Dropped?

If you do a thorough inspection of it and all seems well, there’s generally no reason to replace it. Even the Snell Foundation doesn’t recommend replacing your helmet after a simple drop

If you get yourself involved in an accident, even a minor one where there is an impact involved, even if that seems minor as well, you should go ahead and replace it. If you panic and replace your helmet over simple drops, you’ll find yourself wearing a new helmet every other month or so.

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Courtesy Sport Touring Network on Youtube

Can You Use A Motorcycle Helmet After Dropping It?

There’s no reason not to. As we mentioned above, unless you have been in an accident with the helmet, it’s highly unlikely that a simple drop has compromised the integrity of the helmet. You should be able to wear it just fine until you decide to get a new one. 

If you drop it from a significant height, such as down the stairs or over the edge of a second-story balcony, for instance, that’s a different story altogether and you should have it replaced at the first opportunity.

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Conclusion

Motorcycle helmets are quite literally your only means of protection out on the road. Even your clothes will get eaten up by the asphalt. When you think of it in terms of your lone shield against a major collision accident, it sounds a lot more reasonable to wear one, take care of it, and try not to drop it.

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Brian Tennant

Brian describes himself as a former all-around sports guy who was into just about everything. From college football and hockey to individual 'fun' such as snowboarding, water skiing, and tenpin bowling. Nowadays, due to an expanding waistline, he has become a full-time spectator. He works part-time telecommuting as an IT Support Technician, the other part of his time is spent freelance writing for private clients. Brian has 2 teenage boys who are right into football, and a daughter who enjoys inline skating. Brian's wife Elena is also a freelance writer.

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