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NHTSA Requires Moto Helmets Labeling Changes

With the total number of motorcycles continuously increasing, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed a modification to the current Motorcycle Helmet DOT Labeling, requesting a series of new tests that could improve the helmet resistance and reduce the consequences of head impacts. The DOT label is applied on helmets certified by the U.S. Department of Transportation, assuring riders that a certain helmet has passed several protection tests.

“Aside from the size, location, and contrasting color, the configuration of the symbol is not specified,” the NHTSA was quoted as saying by webBikeWorld. “Motorcycle helmet manufacturers are required to affix the certifying “DOT” symbol to the outer surface of the helmet. The color of the symbol’s lettering must contrast with the background.”

The NHTSA also proposed three types of tests that would help the officials determine if a helmet is capable of providing advanced protection in case of head impacts: an impact attenuation test, a penetration test and a retention system test.

The Department of Transportation acknowledged the risks of using uncertified helmets and admitted that such a change “would help realize the full potential of compliant helmets by aiding state and local law enforcement officials in enforcing state helmet use laws, thereby increasing the percentage of motorcycle riders wearing helmets compliant with FMVSS No. 218."

Although it's not yet clear if a labeling change could reduce the consequences of motorcycle crashes since some states do not require riders to use helmets, wearing a certified helmet could save your life in case of impacts. In fact, even NHTSA said that “the purpose of FMVSS No. 218 is to reduce deaths and injuries to motorcyclists and other motor vehicle users resulting from head impacts.”

 
 
 
 
 

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