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Helmet is an essential safety element while you ride your two-wheeler. The safety provided by the helmet, however, depends on its durability. And there are a few certified helmets that provide more safety to riders. DOT certified motorcycle helmets are one of them. 

 

DOT certified motorcycle helmets provide increased security as these helmets undergo several types of testing.  

 

  • The manufacturers of these helmets put their products through extensive testing, including crash protection and penetration. This evaluates the equipment's quality. If the tests are successful, the helmets are given a DOT grade and there are severe consequences for manufacturers that produce helmets of subpar quality. Before knowing whether you have helmet DOT certified or not, let’s have a  look at what DOT is all about.

Is Your Helmet DOT Certified?

DOT  is an abbreviation for Department of Transportation. This department is responsible for checking helmets on the safety parameters and giving them a stamp for making them a helmet DOT certified. So, before buying a helmet for you, do check for the stamp for verification. 

Different Types of Helmet Certification

Here are the different types of helmet certifications.

1. DOT Certification

DOT certification for helmets is primarily applicable to helmets that are mostly marketed in the USA. This certification is overseen by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

2. ECE (Economic Commission of Europe) Certification

The testing for this certification, which is required across Europe, is quite similar to those for helmets that have received USA approval. Under this, the helmets are tested to assess their shock-absorbing capacity and pressure distribution properties and after that ECE certification is given. 

3. ISI (Indian Standards Institute) Certification

This accreditation may be found on the majority of Indian-made helmets in the country. Although the ISI currently has a standardised testing procedure, one of its requirements is that helmets be lightweight.

4. SNELL Certification

It is a certification that is upheld by a nonprofit company that was founded in 1957. The tests and procedures needed to obtain a Snell certification, which is regarded as being better than other certifications, are difficult to complete, which is why not many companies have this certification.

SNELL is not a mandated certification like some others, therefore a business may choose to voluntarily submit its helmets for testing in order to get the certification.

DOT Certified Helmet Meaning

The helmets that are sold predominantly in the USA are the ones that are covered by this certification. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulates DOT certification (NHTSA).

 

Accordingly, a number of tests, including those for the retention system, penetration level, and crash protection, are used to thoroughly examine the DOT certified motorcycle helmets. It is determined by how much discomfort a helmet can tolerate during these tests by using harsh and extreme techniques, such as exerting a lot of pressure, before it breaks or deforms.

 

All of these certificates are connected and quite similar to one another, with minor variations based on available resources. However, it is essential to use a helmet that has the appropriate certification. The certificates are evidence that the headgear you are donning is a helmet, and as such, it is supposed to be shielding your head.

Conclusion 

Wearing a helmet is undoubtedly important for safety reasons, but it also makes riding longer distances more comfortable. Wearing a helmet eliminates the risk of getting struck by the sun, sand, gravel, and so on. Your helmet will also shield you from suffering a painful bump or concussion if your head collides with the handlebars during a quick halt. Helmets also protect your ears from wind and sound from the road.

 

Another benefit of wearing a helmet for safety is that it increases your visibility to other off-roaders, especially if it is lighter in colour. Thus, wearing a helmet while riding your bike is a wise decision. 

FAQ for DOT Certified Helmets

  • ✔️DOT or ECE Helmet, which is better?

    ECE certification is regarded as a superior alternative because it is the most contemporary current version and is approved in the majority of countries. ECE testing and requirements are stricter than DOT testing and regulations.

  • ✔️How should I know if my helmet is DOT Certified?

    DOT certified helmets will have stickers that help in easily identifying DOT certified helmets. 

  • ✔️Is wearing a helmet mandatory while riding a bike?

    Yes, as per the law, riders are obligated to wear helmets in order to ride their bike. Failure to do so will result in hefty penalties. Helmet DOT certified is considered as one of the safest.

  • ✔️How long does a DOT certified helmet survive?

    Helmet companies agree that riders should change their helmets every five years. However, it is also dependent on how frequently you ride your bike. This restriction mostly applies to bikers who ride every day. Riding for long periods of time can only accelerate the deterioration of your helmet.

  • ✔️Which is stronger, Snell or DOT?

    Impact Analysis is offered by DOT and Snell, and accelerometers are used to assess how quickly the helmet ceases spinning during the test method, however, their requirements vary. The helmet which is DOT certified permits up to 400 Gs of peak force, but the Snell regulations allow for just 275Gs.