You have chosen your helmet which is beautiful, comfortable and on budget: that’s great! But, are you sure it provides the best protection?
There are actually certifications that will guarantee you are well-equipped. In fact, in Canada we have DOT, ECE and SNELL designations which certify that your helmet is safe.
To be legal in Canada, and especially in Québec, riders must comply with the Highway Safety Code stating:
“Every person riding on a motorcycle or moped, or in a sidecar, on in an off-highway vehicle under the Act Respecting Off-Highway Vehicles, or in a sleigh or trailer towed by an off-highway vehicle, must wear a protective helmet that complies with any of the following established standards for the manufacture, installation and use:
Standard CAN-3-D230 of the Canadian Standards Association;
Standard DOT FMVSS 218 of the United States Department of Transportation;
Standard “Specifications for Protective Headgear for Vehicular Users Z90.1” of the American National Standards Institute;
Standard of the Snell Memorial Foundation;
Standard of the British Standards Institute;
Standard of the “ECE Regulation 22” of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
“A protective helmet must bear, at all times, the label affixed by the manufacturer in compliance with the requirements of the standard of manufacture” – SAAQ
Although different types of certifications exist, the three most recognized are DOT, SNELL and ECE. You have surely noticed the affixed label at the back of your helmet, but what does it mean and why are there different ones?
Dot FMVSS 218: DOT certification stands for the “normal” safety standard a helmet must pass to be accepted in the market. It is also the most common and the best known standard. Numerous tests are carried out to ensure helmet compliance.
ECE 22.05 : As its name suggests, the ECE (Economic Commission for Europe) standard is used mainly in Europe, but it is recognized in many other countries. With stricter rules than the DOT standard, every helmet model sold with the ECE label must pass different tests before hitting the market. The ECE standard aims to avoid any risks of injury in an accident, and not just decrease them as much as possible. That is why we find a full list of tests that take into account the helmet’s rigidity as well as the quality of the helmet visors.
SNELL M2015 : The “Snell Memorial Foundation” is a non-profit organization that tests and develops standards aimed at improving helmet efficiency. The tests carried out for this certification are very rigorous and most racing associations demand a SNELL approved helmet.
Did you know? Wearing visual protection is mandatory for the rider. If the helmet is not equipped with a visor, the rider must wear protective glasses. This requirement applies when circulating in a zone where the speed limit is over 50 km/h.
While it is important to validate the authenticity of your helmet, you must not worry too much about that because a retailer is obligated to sell helmets that meet current manufacturing standards. Kimpex is the distributor of several brands of certified helmets such as LS2. Go to your favourite helmet’s product page to find additional information on its safety rating.