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Helmet Safety

7639 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  kidsdad0101
For any person that races in any sort of organization you are required to wear a helmet. I would hope by now that everyone knows the importance of wearing helmets, they save lives. Not only do they just save your life on the big crashes, but they keep your from going to the hospital on minor crashes. A small tumble on a bike or quad with a helmet on could turn into a deep cut or concussion if you didn’t have a helmet on. What I don’t think a lot of people realize is that all helmets are not created equally.

All helmets on the market must meet DOT Standard, Department of Transportation, to be sold to the public. What they don’t have to meet is the Snell Memorial Foundation’s standards.

What is SNELL? Well basically they are a non profit organization that tests helmets to see how safe they are. All racing organizations that I know of require your helmet to have a Snell sticker that is no older than 5 years. Even if the helmet has NEVER been worn this helmet could still be bad. You see after 5 years the Styrofoam inside deteriorates and no longer provides the required protection.

SNELL tests helmets at 2 very high tech labs, one in the US and one in the UK. Their over all goal is to ensure quality and standards for helmets.

Not Known

This isn’t printed anywhere that I know of. The following information is what I have found out from visiting the SNELL lab in the US. Just because it has a SNELL sticker doesn’t mean it’s the best. SNELL takes a batch of helmets and runs them through various tests. If a helmet fails a certain test they retest it. There are certain “numbers” it must reach to be at the standard. Some helmets barely make them, others clear with plenty of head room. Some are retested again and again until they pass. Now nothing gets a sticker that doesn’t pass be sure of that.

What does this mean to you? Well you know that helmet you just picked up for $50 that has a SNELL and DOT sticker? It is probably one of those that barely passed. Now that doesn’t mean it isn’t safe, but it isn’t the safest out there. This doesn’t mean you have to buy that $600 SHOEI with Troy Lee designs on it to ensure safety but it should make you think twice about a “deal”.

Make sure it fits! Even the best helmet wont work if it doesn't fit. It should be "snug" to the point of almost tight, but not uncomfortable. If you grab the helmet and wiggle it your head should move with it. Cracks are bad, replace the helmet if it has one. After every crash, no matter how minor, you should replace your helmet if it was invovled in the accident. The easiest way to tell is check for chipped paint. Don't drop your helmet. If you drop your helmet from 5-6 feet on a rock or cemenet it is the same as getting in a wreck.

Some of the better ones are as follows:

Those are probably the 4 highest scoring on average helmet.

What makes me an expert? Well I’m not really. The man I know who works there has worked there a very long time. I visit there lab all the time when I go to lunch with him. He also supplies me with all my helmets. Very simply he doesn’t trust a lot out there and will only let me wear what he knows to be the best. I have also destroyed quite a few of them. When I do I bring them back and he tests them. One example is I took a “little” tumble on a dirt bike. Nothing bad just dinged up my helmet. I took it in and he opened it up. The Styrofoam was destroyed. If I had crashed again using this helmet my head would have been mush.

For more information go to :
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Agreed, helmets are only suppose to last one "little" crash...alot of people don't even realize those little crashes could have killed them without a lid on. When I wrecked, mine wasn't tight enough to stay on after it hit the ground. I thought it was useless in my accident until I cracked it open as well, the helmet was DONE internally, but from the outside appeared to be okay minus scratches.

Helmets are suppose to last one minor hit to the ground...expensive or not, that's all their designed for. GREAT POST
yep my friend got i n a small crash , and didnt have it straped, it few off and he hit his head on the tire, knock out, then started having a seager, with blood coming out of his moth, and my friend ran to go get help on the main road.. i was there holding his head and getting all the blood out of his mouth...
finally a ambulance(sp) came was in the hostpital for 8 hours...

o ya this was a glamis.. al that over a danm strap.... wow.
and to top it off he gos on small rided and still wont strap it tell we force him to..
yea its true...I used to be one of those guys who would just look for the cheapest helmet I could find. I saw someone at our local track fall off their quad, hit the ground so hard that their helmet also cracked, I couldnt beleive it! Ever since then, I have been buying "good helmets"
yeah i finally bought a new helmet when i bought my ltr. my ? is how to check to see if it is still good after a crash? i always believe in wearing helmets. i crashed going down hill about three months ago. did a serious face plant and sprained my wrist so bad it still hurts a little. i hit so hard the mouth piece chrome was worn off and the visor bent so hard it cracked the sticker on it. my helmet is a SHOEI with the troy lee design but i guess i got a deal as it only yeah only cost $400. like 400 hun is cheap but well worth savin my brains so my family dont have to deal with a vegetable or me bein dead over something so simple as strapping on a helmet. sorry such a long post. any help is appreciated. thanks.
Hey onesavage...there's a product that came out roughly a year or so ago that measures and warns you if your helmet has indeed taken that detramental blow. Product is called the shok-spotr, and attaches right to the back of your lid. Great tool if you're a little unsure of how well your helmet held up after that last accident (has to be on during the wreck to tell of course :p )

Most motorsport companies that sell helmets carry a few now. Take a peek:
thanks mxquadracer. i'll have to buy one of those.
If your helmet falls off in an accident, even the most expensive helmet in the world wont protect you.

When I am on the line, before my moto I make sure that strap is tight, just below unfcomfortable. A bit of discomfort will go a long way when I go end over end, and my lid stays on throughout the ordeal.

As far as helmet quality, I have seen one of the 3 letter helmet's mouthpieces break completely off, and the guy had to pick his teeth of out of the first. But he got it for $49.99! woohoo.
Earlier this year Joe had a minor accident and hit his head hard enough to get a minor concussion. We retired that helmet and bought a new one. On Labor Day he was in a severe wreck hitting the ground at a high rate of speed and then his quad landed on top of him and he was run over by another quad. This crash happened in front of 13 other quads and he was at the top of 4th gear. He was wearing his new 661 helmet. He had a little bit of a black eye where his helmet pushed on his goggles. He was also wearing a 661 neck nut and a Thor Sentinel chest protector. His quad landed directly on his midsection. He had no other head injuries, no neck injuries, some broken ribs, a punctured lung and a broken humerus. This wasn't a little crash and I still have a hard time imagining that the injuries, although serious, weren't more severe. I know that if our protective equipment wasn't maintained and worn properly that we could possibly have lost Joe. He went back to school today and even though he won't be able to ride for a very long time, it is just good to know he will get better. Don't try to get by with questionable protective gear. Don't skimp on quality. Don't think that your ride is to short or it is too much trouble to wear your gear. No one is invincible and something bad can happen to YOU! It isn't necessarily going to be that other guy.
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And thats why I ride with $2000 worth of gear on.
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