DOT Ratings For Motorcycle Helmets Are Egregiously Outdated

There are myriad issues with the way DOT rated helmets are tested for minimum safety standards, not least of which is the fact that the standard (FMVSS 218) was written in 1974. A DOT rated helmet does not have to be tested for visor impact, rollover, or even the strength of the chin bar. Not only that, but helmets are self-tested and self-approved by helmet manufacturers, which means some manufacturers selectively test, and some will outright lie about their product passing. Motorcyclists could be riding around right now with a helmet that won’t properly protect their melon.

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FortNine is a motorcycle vlogger out of Canada who has been independently testing bikes and gear for over a year now. The videos are quality, and the results are based on real-world self-styled tests. In this video, he is calling on us, that’d be American enthusiasts, to tell the NHTSA that we want an updated safety standard for motorcycle helmets. By updating DOT standard to be more in line with a Snell or ECE rating, to test for more than just impact (and to lower the maximum acceptable impact), we could save countless bikers’ lives.

This video is as humorous and cinematically flashy as it is fact-based and informative. I really like the style he chose here, and learned a good bit about the lackluster safety standard set by FMVSS 218. If you have just over 9 minutes to spare, definitely watch this and learn something.


Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

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