Do you know what standard your helmet is certified to? I had to purchase a new helmet last year while out of town, the dealer explained the difference between DOT and Snell so I chose a Snell certified helmet. Most helmets will be DOT certified or European ECE certified and additionally they may also be Snell certified. What does all this mean?
Types of helmet certification:
- DOT certified – this is the helmet standard set by the U.S. Department of Transportation so you’ll see this on most helmets in North America.
- ECE – a standard set by the Economic Commission for Europe, so helmets originating in Europe may carry this certification in place of DOT certification, and it is a somewhat more rigorous standard than DOT.
- Snell – this is a voluntary certification that manufacturers can submit their helmet to. It is an even more rigorous standard that is updated every couple of years. The Snell Memorial Foundation was created in the 1950’s by the family of an auto racer who died when his helmet failed in a crash.
For more information about helmet safety certifications check out: