Close to 400,000 UK motorcyclists are wearing crash helmets that ‘need to be replaced’, according to industry experts and new figures from Carole Nash. Based on the responses of over 1,000 active UK riders, the survey data shows that 41% of the nation’s bikers are wearing helmets that have been in use for five or more years.
The consensus across helmet manufacturers and independent safety experts, like the Snell Foundation, is that bikers should replace their lids every five years. This is due to degradation in the glues and resins used in production, along with normal wear and tear, that reduces the performance of seemingly undamaged helmets.
However, the data shows a startling disconnect between UK riders and this safety advice. A massive six-in-ten (62%) motorcyclists said that they wouldn’t buy a replacement helmet unless they’d been involved in an accident, with an additional one-in-five (22%) stating that they would not buy another while their current one still ‘looked fine’.
The research also shows six-out-of-ten (63%) bikers would continue to use their lid after having dropped it, risking the possibility that it has suffered internal damage that cannot be seen.
Pete Horton, an online Product Supervisor for over ten years, comes into contact with thousands of bikers each year and emphasises the importance of heeding this guidance. He said: “As the single most important piece of safety equipment a biker wears, it’s obviously vital a helmet’s integrity isn’t compromised in any way to ensure it can provide as much protection as possible. Due to the inevitable degradation of the materials used in their construction, we recommend that helmets be replaced after five years of use.”