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Andre Ng

Carina Masters
James Martinez
Safety Standards in Helmets
Safety standards for helmets differ depending on several variables: their intended use,
their extra safety standards, their country of origin, and the helmet’s actual shape (ie. full face,
modular, open face, etc.). Several safety standard foundations exist for helmets, including
SNELL, DOT, ECE 22.05, and ACU Gold. In this report, we will be focusing on the SNELL and
DOT standards as they are applicable to the United States rather than to the European Union. In
designing a skateboard helmet, one must also consider ASTM standards.
There are four areas that are checked when a helmet is examined by the Department of
Transportation and the SNELL foundation. These four areas are the helmet lining, chin straps
and rivets, weight, and design. The inner lining of a safe helmet should be made of a firm
polystyrene foam that is approximately one-inch thick. Safe chin straps should be sturdy, and
rivets should be extremely solid. Helmets that match federal safety standards also tend to be
approximately three pounds in weight, due to the necessary safety precautions. If a helmet
weighs under one pound, it is designated as unsafe. Most styles are considered safe, as long as
they are able to pass the above requirements, however helmets with external designs such as
horns or other protruding decorations are considered unsafe, as DOT standards require
decorations to extend no further than two-tenths of an inch from the outer surface of the helmet. Commented [1]: https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pe
dbimot/motorcycle/unsafehelmetid/pages/page2.htm