Helmet certification is not as straightforward as you may think. So, if you aren’t sure whether the type of helmet you need is certified, check with the manufacturer or retailer.
What Do You Mean by Helmet Certification?
Helmet certification is a method that may make certain helmets safer and less likely to cause brain injuries. A helmet’s certification should be proof of its safety. Some helmets are certified through independent labs, while others are certified by manufacturers. These independent certifications ensure that the helmet meets acceptable standards.
All helmet certifications should be adopted and enforced. In case of an accident, a helmet certification protocol would quickly ascend the safety hierarchy. For now, the SFMTA only has helmet laws, which means helmets aren’t always worn. It has no teeth to enforce the laws, and some cyclists and cyclists’ advocates resent the helmet laws, which they say only serve to criminalize cyclists. Helmet laws should be replaced with helmet certification, and all helmets should be MANDATORY.
The Essence of Helmet Certification
Helmet certification is an important aspect of safety. Every state in the US requires that helmets be worn, and many have laws requiring the use of helmets for children and adults. Helmets have become a crucial part of standard safety precautions, and that trend is expected to continue.
The helmet certification is not intended to be a test but rather a learning experience. The certification is for those who are serious about safety on the road; it is not meant as a game or a way to pass the time. The helmet certification is what it is, and its purpose has been met.
Snell is most widely-recognized by consumers as the standard in motorcycle safety. Snell helmets are certified to meet or exceed both DOT and ECE standards. In 2008, Snell donated $4 million to the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center to build the 10,000+ square-foot Snell Safety Compliance Laboratory. The varying safety certifications of helmets are confusing. Each helmet manufacturer offers a different mix of features in its helmets, and while some offer better protection, others offer better features. A standard Snell helmet (which meets or exceeds government standards) is a safe bet if you’re mostly concerned about safety. But if you’re an athlete, you might look for different features, such as a visor, adjustable chin strap, and ventilation.
The FIM is the most extensive and rigorous certification scheme for cycle helmets and is the benchmark for safety in cycle helmets across the globe. The FIM also follows ISO 9001, so you can be sure that each helmet manufacturer is adhering to the FIM’s criteria. The FIM certification is internationally recognized and trusted by riders worldwide. Rider safety is paramount when choosing a helmet. The FIM certification guarantees that the helmet complies with strict safety standards. The FIM is the most comprehensive certification and sets the standard for all motorcycle helmet certifications. All helmets certified to FIM standards are subjected to rigorous testing, including ensuring that they protect the wearer from an impact, impact retention, structural integrity, and size and stability.
SHARP is the original helmet certification program in Japan. It is probably better for someone in Japan to need a helmet certification. The SHARP helmet certification is the most widely recognized worldwide for motorcycle helmets. It is approved by numerous national governments, organizations, and associations, including the United Kingdom, European Economic Community, European Union, United States, United Nations, Japan, etc. The SHARP (Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Program) certification has successfully served consumers for over 30 years. Customers have come to trust this certification for its dedication to safety. The certificate itself is based on a wide range of standards, including safety, fit, comfort, and durability. SHARP’s helmet testing standards are tough, although they give consumers several choices to fit their needs.
The DOT certification is the one that the most recognized helmet manufacturers use. In 2010, they required all helmets sold in the United States to qualify for government subsidies to obtain a certification. DOT certification is the minimum required to guarantee that a helmet will protect your head in an accident. However, if your helmet doesn’t pass DOT testing, it doesn’t mean that it won’t protect your head in an accident.
ECE certification is the gold standard for helmets. ECE is the European Standard for Helmets. It covers a wide range of helmets and sets common construction, performance, and safety requirements. The ECE certification process ensures that helmets meet performance, safety, and protection standards. ECE testing is conducted on helmets in laboratories rather than on riders on test tracks.
So, Which Helmet Certification Is Best?
The best helmet certification depends on what you’re using it for and what kind of helmet you’re looking for. For example, if the helmet is a motorcycle helmet, it must have DOT certification. If the helmet is a ski helmet, it must have an ECE certification. If the helmet is a bicycle helmet, it must have a SHARP certification. If the helmet is a sky diving helmet, it must have a SNELL certification.
Motorcycle helmets are required by law in many states. The Office of Highway Safety Planning and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recognizes Snell, ECE, and SNELL as the top standards for motorcycle helmets. These are more expensive than other standards. However, they are required in several states and will help save lives.
Snell Helmets offers the most protection, but they face significant challenges from DOT and ECE. DOT helmets offer less protection, but the process costs less. ECE helmets offer less protection, and the process costs more. Snell offers the most protection and costs the most.
ECE and SHARP helmets are the most popular in Europe, while DOT helmets are most popular in the USA. All helmets must pass basic safety tests before being sold, but DOT helmets must also pass an impact test to ensure the helmet won’t shatter.