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Snell Approved Helmets

So what's the Snell Approved Motorcycle Helmet Difference?
Motorcycle Helmets meeting Snell Approved Standards provide the highest level of protection available. Snell Standards significantly surpass those set by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) and the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission's 16 CFR Part 1203.

In order to continuously monitor the quality of motorcycle helmets being sold to the public, Snell purchases and tests samples of currently certified motorcycle helmets from the marketplace. These motorcycle helmets are tested only in Snell labs by Snell technicians. Should a currently certified helmet fail, the motorcycle helmet manufacturer must take corrective action to Snell's satisfaction.
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The Three Basic Types of Snell Testing Programs

Certification Test
Official pre-market evaluation for admission to the Foundation's Certification programs. The manufacturer submits a number of motorcycle helmet samples, depending on the motorcycle helmet type and Snell standard to the Foundation for testing. Snell technicians at Snell laboratories subject these samples to the most rigorous testing permitted by the Standard. Any failure on any sample is a cause for rejection.

Random Sample Test (RST)
Required testing and evaluation for all certified motorcycle helmets. The Foundation acquires motorcycle helmet test samples directly from stocks of motorcycle helmets that are meant for sale or distribution to the general public, or specific groups of users, usually from retail or distribution sources. The number of samples we will buy is based on the number of Snell certified motorcycle helmets the manufacturer has produced. Snell technicians in Snell laboratories inspect and test each sample to check that the motorcycle helmets used by the public continue to meet the Foundation's high standards. If it is found that these RST helmets fail to meet the testing criteria, three more samples are obtained and tested to confirm the findings of the first tests. If any of these three follow up tests result in failure, the Foundation first demands that the manufacturer discontinue production of these motorcycle helmets as Snell certified products. The Foundation will then continue to investigate the matter and determine a suitable course of action. These actions can range from requiring the manufacturer fix the problem and recertify the motorcycle helmet, to a complete decertification of the manufacturer's certified product line. In some cases Snell will require that all Snell decals distributed to that manufacturer be returned.. This basically amounts to a full scale recall. Gratefully, this rarely occurs because of the procedures taken during the certification and Random Sample Testing.

Prototype Test
Unofficial evaluation. Manufacturers may submit one or more motorcycle helmet samples and request specific tests and test configurations. The Foundation will not consider prototype test data in evaluation for Certification. However, manufacturers may find prototype testing useful in product development.
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