Hello gents, I agree that Fnine guy does a pretty good job of telling the origins and malfeisance of the DOT standard. However to put out there information that the Dept of Transportation and the FMVSS (not telling what it is) are morons that are out there to cater to the wims of the helmet companies and dupe the public is a little far fetched.
Specially if you notice the fines and the fact that helmets are indpendently tested, this is for 2013
NHTSA does not test helmets against the DOT standards before they can claim DOT certification; rather, each helmet manufacturer marketing their helmets for road use in the U.S. must test and self-certify the models they want to sell and then permanently affix the “DOT” emblem signifying compliance with FMVSS 218.
NHTSA enforces the standard by acquiring random samples of the product and sending them to an independent testing lab to verify compliance. Penalties to manufacturers for marketing non-compliant products can be steep—up to $5,000 per helmet.
As a result of confusion over the specifications in the test procedures for impact attenuation and the retention system, new test procedures have been put into place.
As for Snell:
Snell Foundation testing evaluates each helmet model in four areas and specifications for pre-test environmental conditioning of helmets are used. As with the other two systems, 105° of peripheral vision from the midline is required.
Impact absorption testing is done in similar fashion to ECE and DOT, using a free-fall drop test from a fixed height with a head form in the helmet to measure impact energy transferred to the interior of the helmet when dropped on to a fixed anvil.
Snell is newer and more extensive and can be developed together with manufacturers, but the basic test are the same.
Snell has a flammability test... how many motoheads have road into an inferno?? I guess less than 1%?? I don't know.
So what is left, get the best bucket Your money can buy, always wear and drive carefully to kepp your nogging intact (together with the rest of ypur body)