When it comes to motorcycle helmets, safety is of the utmost importance. To ensure that a helmet is safe to wear, it must pass a variety of certifications and tests. Two of the most well-known certifications for motorcycle helmets are the SNELL and DOT certifications, which are required in the United States, and the ECE certification which is mandatory in most of the European countries.
The SNELL Memorial Foundation is a non-profit organization that conducts rigorous testing of motorcycle helmets to ensure they meet high safety standards. The SNELL certification is considered one of the most stringent and rigorous helmet certifications in the world, and helmets that pass the SNELL test are considered some of the safest on the market. The SNELL certification tests helmets for penetration resistance, retention system strength, and impact absorption.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) is a federal agency that sets safety standards for motorcycle helmets sold in the United States. To meet DOT standards, a helmet must pass a series of impact tests and penetration tests. The helmet must also have a label on the inside indicating that it meets or exceeds FMVSS 218, which is the federal safety standard for motorcycle helmets. The DOT certification is mandatory for all helmets sold in the US, and it is considered the minimum safety standard for helmets.
The Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) is an international organization that sets safety standards for motorcycle helmets sold in most of the European countries. To meet ECE standards, a helmet must pass a series of impact tests and penetration tests. The helmet must also have a label on the inside indicating that it meets or exceeds ECE 22.05, which is the safety standard for motorcycle helmets. This certification is mandatory in most of the European countries, and it is considered the minimum safety standard for helmets in those countries.
The FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) is the international governing body for motorcycle racing, and they have their own safety rating system for helmets. The FIM safety rating is a separate certification from the SNELL, DOT, and ECE certifications and is not mandatory for helmets sold in any country.
In conclusion, when buying a motorcycle helmet, it is important to look for helmets that have passed either the SNELL, DOT or ECE certification tests. These certifications ensure that the helmet meets certain safety standards and can provide added protection for the rider in the event of an accident. While the DOT and ECE are mandatory certifications for helmets sold in the US and Europe, respectively, the SNELL certification is an additional safety standard that provides an extra level of protection.