DOT vs SNELL vs ECE

Your safety is important, that is why it's important to us that you are aware of the helmet standards to decide which ones fit your needs the best for protecting your head on the road and off the road.

Department of Transportation or DOT is the US Government approved standard and also most common in the States. DOT standards aim at 90% skull protection from impact. Ranging from low to moderate energy impacts. Favoring a shock absorbent helmet. DOT's preference towards more shock absorbent helmets indicates that absorbing the force is more likely to be safer and thus more important than resistance of the impact. In order for a helmet to be DOT certified it must pass the following tests :

  • Helmet is dropped onto a spherical anvil from a height of 1.83m
  • Helmet is dropped onto a flat anvil from a height of 1.83m
  • Pointed striker is dropped onto helmet
  • Weight is applied to retention system (up to 300 pounds of force for 120 seconds)

Not-For-Profit, independent organization named after William "Pete" SNELL, a famous race car driver who died after a helmet failed to protect him from serious head injuries. Every five years, SNELL performance standards and testing specifications are updated. Old SNELL M2005, the "old Standard" favored a shock resistant shell, The next SNELL M2010 "new standard" favors a shock absorbent shell. The newest SNELL, M2015 is very similar to the M2010 and is the new standard for SNELL. SNELL Helmets are allowed by the AMA for professional Motorcycle racing except for the M2005 which is no longer permitted after 2011. In order for a helmet to be SNELL certified it must pass these tests:

  • Snell uses 5 different shaped anvils instead of two
  • Helmets are dropped from multiple heights (greater than DOT's)
  • Snell tests the chin bar and the dome of the helmet
  • The visor is tested by shooting it with soft lead pellets and in at least three different locations of the visor.

Developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, internationally is the most common helmet standard. Required by over 50 countries worldwide. ECE meets and exceeds the standards for DOT and SNELL and in contrast to DOT and SNELL, ECE is approved for all competition events by AMA, WERA, FIM, CCS, Formula USA, and Moto GP. In order for a helmet to be ECE certified it must pass these tests:

  • Impact absorption by dropping helmet onto a flat anvil
  • Testing chin strap buckle for slippage
  • Chin strap material is tested for tension failure at over 670 lbs. of force
  • Testing for abrasion resistance
  • Shell is tested for deformation under weight of nearly 150 lbs.
  • Visor is tested as an integral part of the helmet

 During certification these helmets are tested with the intention of providing the most substantial protection for your head in order to give the best odds of survival in any type of accident. All in All, it is up to you to be responsible when riding your bike and make sure you always keep your head and body protected.