In Florida, provided you are an adult with at least $10,000 in medical coverage, you do not have a legal obligation to wear a riding helmet. Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that riding helmets save lives. As such, to increase your chances of surviving a collision or slide, you should wear a safety-rated motorcycle helmet every time you climb behind the handlebars.

Even if you invest in a high-quality helmet, you still must remain careful. You should regularly replace your helmet to ensure you have optimal protection. While the general rule is to buy a new riding helmet every five years, there are a few other situations when replacing your headgear makes sense:

  1. Your helmet has visible signs of damage 

Helmet manufacturers would like you to believe you should replace your helmet every time you drop it. That probably is not the case. However, you should routinely inspect your headgear for visible signs of damage. If you notice cracks, tears or breaks, buy a new helmet immediately. Remember as well that helmets are single-use items. If you have a collision, ordering a new helmet is likely essential.

  1. You sweat heavily 

Most modern motorcycle helmet shells have textiles that are resilient to sweat. Nevertheless, if you sweat heavily, your helmet’s straps may wear out prematurely. Furthermore, the sunblock, lotion and other products you wear may cause your helmets straps to loosen. Naturally, if your helmet dislodges during a crash, it does not do you much good.

  1. Your helmet is uncomfortable to wear

When you are riding your motorcycle, you want to feel great. If your helmet does not fit quite right or is otherwise uncomfortable, you may elect to leave it at home. That is a bad idea. If your helmet makes you reluctant to put it on, it is time to upgrade.

Though you may have excellent riding skills, you can neither predict nor control the actions of other drivers on the road. Wearing a safety-rated helmet that is in good condition improves your chances of walking away from a collision.