Motorcycle helmet safety ratings are so important to know. The reason, firstly they help us to understand the strengths of different helmets. Secondly, they also give us in-depth knowledge about the other gear categories and finally we can choose the best one for us.
Motorcycle helmet safety rating depends upon three safety measures. These are DOT, ECE, and Snell. All of them are the testing system through which a headgear manufacturer passes their product before introducing it to you.
There is no doubt that the headgear is known to become the essential part of every biker. On the other hand, you can deny that just buying a helmet without proper knowledge is not a perfect solution—that why we put this effort into educating you well.
After knowing these in detail, you will be able to see the helmet safety rating procedure ultimately. Moreover, it will also help you to choose your helmet according to your need. Know let us explain all these in detail.
Who Gives the motorcycle helmet ratings?
Department of Transportation (DOT) in the USA has given some guidelines that a helmet must pass. After testing these guidelines, the department refers to it as the safest helmet to use on the road. Otherwise, the helmet is not allowed to use in any circumstances.
If you think that DOT tested every helmet manufactured by different brands, then you are wrong here. Let me explain the fact, the department of transportation provides all the guidelines to the manufacturers, and they test them on their own in their labs.
DOT has more value upon other testing procedures like ECE and Snell. It is a step-wise procedure through which a brand test their gear and nominates motorcycle helmet ratings for this tested product. Which later introduce to the market.
It mainly includes vision, shell’s strength, material type, how much resistance the shell can bear. All these factors are included in this helmet safety rating procedure of DOT. So definitely, after these tests, we can highly trust DOT-approved helmets.
So Before buying a DOT-approved helmet, you must check the verification sticker behind the gear or anywhere around. One more thing we would like to add here. FMVSS218 is another DOT standard that a helmet must meet. We discuss it below.
Interestingly, it included the minimum testing list. Moreover, every manufacturer can quickly test this list at their labs easily. However, FMVSS is the basic one among the rest of the certificates, the most trusted one due to its authentication.
DOT motorcycle helmet ratings mainly include the series of drop tests. It is to ensure the wether helmet shell is strong enough to provide the best protection during the fall or not. Moreover, these helmet safety rating testing also include the number of penetration tests.
All these testing lists help manufacturers to test the overall structural integrity of the helmet. Including the above, the DOT also has its separate qualifications for the retention checking and to give motorcycle helmet ratings.
In addition to the above, the DOT also has specific criteria for the penetration, field of vision that a manufacturer must provide in their products, and the DOT sticker’s placement. It means you cant place it anywhere, except the specific areas.
More interestingly, it is not necessary that you have to test the DOT FMVSS218 helmet safety ratings on your own. The manufacturer can hire any third party for the testation as well. Moreover, we haven’t found any complaint about the DOT approved shells, which is an excellent sign of the gear integrity of
ECE Helmet Ratings
Like DOT motorcycle helmet ratings, ECE is another testing system to assign helmet safety ratings. Although it the younger than the DOT as it comes later. It doesn’t mean that you can’t trust its authentication.
Instead of it, the ECE includes a more detailed and challenging testing mechanism than DOT. ECE stands for the Economic Commission for Europe. Its highly recommended helmet ratings in more than 50 countries in Europe.
Likewise, here we can say that its ECE helmet safety ratings work differently from the DOT one. Like the ECE, overall, check the quality of the safety features of the helmet extensively. Additionally, it also assigns the grades to the different safety components used in the headgear.
These components include the visor, rigidity of the used material. All these arrangements finally make a helmet the best one to provide you with ultra-pro protection during hard collisions.
Unlike DOT, the ECE safety standards were checked by a third party, and the manufacturers were not allowed to test them on their own. It increases its validity, and a buyer fully ensures that these helmets must provide them the best protection.
Keeping all the above in mind, here we have a suggestion. It would help if you kept in mind that the motorcycle’s average crash speed in Europe is less than as compared to America. It means that we are not fully satisfied. Instead, ECE works well in the USA or not.
Snell Helmet Safety Ratings
Snell memorial foundation is responsible for the testation of the Snell motorcycle helmet ratings. The good thing is you do need to pay for this procedure. Moreover, the snell certification includes a more aggressive testation system than the rest of the rating standards.
Likewise, we can say that then Snell is not like the other ordinary testing schemes. It considered being one of the oldest safety standards. Due to this now, its procedure of testing and passing a helmet is tough.
Mostly the Snell used the testing checklist to test headgear for racing purposes. On the contrary, the DOT and Snell helmet safety rating doesn’t have these checklists in their testing procedures. So we highly recommend you here a helmet with Snell certification if you are a ricing biker.
More surprisingly, the Snell memorial foundation has excellent numbers of technicians who have fully experienced testing a helmet. It is also a plus point for the Snell, making it one of the most trusted helmet safety ratings in gears.
Finally, unlike the ECE and DOT motorcycle helmet ratings, the Snell also values the helmet’s internal parts. Like EPS liner, cheek pads, and the overall design and finish of the helmet.
Difference Between DOT, ECE, and Snell
- Test helmets at high crashing speed
- Test different height falling test on the helmet
- Pointed penetration test included
- Test the different parts of the helmet for heavier forces
- Highly recommended in the USA
- The manufacturer can test it in its lab.
- Highly recommended and accepted around Europe
- Test helmet at relevantly low crashing speed
- Includes strict and extensive testing proceduresIncludes strict and extensive testing procedures
- Assign grades to different parts of the helmet for safety ratings
- Tested by the third party
- Includes a complete and detailed testing procedure
- Checklist for testing a helmet for racing purposes
- Also, it includes the interiors of the helmet.
- Only experienced technicians test the helmet.
- Highly recommended and approved in the USA
We explain all these motorcycle helmet ratings in detail; I hope you appreciate this effort. Moreover, this also enables you to understand the testing procedure and its labeling for any brand’s helmet.
In addition to the above, you also now able to choose the helmet according to your need. Here we explain all the ins and outs of these three helmet safety ratings to let you know what suits you well.
But keep in mind that the ECE is still looking for its placement in the USA. It means that we only recommend the DOT and Snell-approved shell to the residents of the Amera. The reason already explains above.
Now it’s your turn to choose the best motorcycle helmet safety ratings for you. Have a safe journey with any of these helmet safety rating gear.