Snell certification is the best indication that the helmet meets the highest helmet standard in the world and offers best head impact protection currently available. Governments set minimum standards for motorcycle helmets. Snell standards offer riders better head protection over and beyond all the protection the governments demand. In North America riders have a choice to wear SNELL/DOT helmets and in Europe motorcyclists have an option to wear SNELL/ECE helmets.
Motorcycle Helmet Standard Comparison
|Impact Management (How tough are the tests?)||Premium||Minimum||Inadequate|
|Certified Helmet List (How to verify certified helmets?)||Snell Website||None||None|
|Certification Test (Who does the initial qualifying tests?)||Only at Snell Lab||Manufacturer Itself||Any Approved lab in 62 Countries|
|In-Market Test ( How to test for compliance and enforcement?)||1 out of 2000 helmets||40 models a year||Manufacturer Audit|
|Standard Organization (Who Sets test requirements?)||Independent Experts||Government||Government|
|Standard Application (How the standard is used?)||Voluntary||Mandatory Law||Mandatory Law|
|Year of First Helmet Standard||1959||1974||1998|
Snell M2020 helmets almost double the protection of DOT/ECE helmets. The premium level of impact protection in Snell helmets offers riders better chances of walking away from hard and multiple hits in serious crashes.
Impact management is a matter of just how big a hit a helmet can take before it is completely overwhelmed. For moderate hits, helmets limit the shock transmitted to the head. All standards call out what this limit ought to be. But when the helmet is overwhelmed, the shock suddenly skyrockets well beyond levels anyone might consider safe. Effectively, the head crushes the helmet wall completely and slams into the inside surface of the helmet shell. Imagine diving into a pool. A shallow dive from the edge may be no problem but diving from the three meter board requires depth. The parallel for a motorcycle crash might run all the way from a flat dive off the pool edge to cliff diving in Acapulco. It’s no wonder Snell demands all the impact management a rider might reasonably wear on his head.