Shaper Of All Things Metal
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Found this info (source is a DOT pamphlet) when googling info on counterfeit helmets. (Interesting that protrusions over 2/10th of an inch are not legal, which would disallow all the helmet cams out there.)
Here is What to Check For:
Thick Inner Liner
Helmets meeting the minimum Federal safety standard have an inner liner usually about one-inch thick of firm polystyrene foam. Sometimes the inner liner will not be visible, but you should still be able to feel its thickness. Unsafe helmets normally contain only soft foam padding or a bare plastic shell with no padding at all.
Sturdy Chin Strap and Rivets
Helmets meeting the DOT safety standard have sturdy chinstraps with solid rivets.
Weight of Helmet
Depending on design, unsafe helmets weigh only one pound or less. Helmets meeting FMVSS 218 generally weigh about three pounds. Become familiar with the weight of helmets that comply with the Federal safety standard. These helmets provide a more substantial feel.
Design/Style of Helmet
The DOT safety standard does not allow anything to extend further than two-tenths of an inch from the surface of a helmet. For example, while visor fasteners are allowed, a spike or other protruding decorations indicate an unsafe helmet.
Helmets that meet FMVSS 218 must have a sticker on the outside back of the helmet with the letters “DOT,” which certifies that the helmet meets or exceeds FMVSS 218. It is important to note that some novelty helmet sellers provide DOT stickers separately for motorcyclists to place on non-complying helmets. In this case, the DOT sticker is invalid and does not certify compliance.
Snell or ANSI Label
In addition to the DOT sticker, labels located inside the helmet showing that a helmet meets the standards of private, non-profit organizations such as Snell or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) are good indicators that the helmet also meets the Federal safety standard. To date, we have never seen a novelty helmet that has a phony DOT sticker in addition to a phony Snell or ANSI label.
Manufacturers are required under FMVSS 218 to place a label on or inside the helmet stating the manufacturer’s name, model, size, month and year of manufacture, construction materials, and owner’s information.