Bike Helmet Safety Associations

Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute:
The institite is a helmet advocacy program arm of the Washington (US) Area Bicyclist Association. They operate as a non-profit consumer-funded clearinghouse and technical resource for bicycle helmet information. Their volunteers serve on the ASTM helmet standard committee and are active in commenting on actions of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and their certification process.

Snell Memorial Foundation:
In 1957 a group of scientists, physicians, racing colleagues and friends teamed together to promote research, education, testing and development of standards geared to improve the effectiveness of automotive racing helmets. They have now expanded to include helmet for bicycles, equestrian events, karting, skiing and snowboarding.

Snell New B-95 Standards for bicycle safety helmets surpass those set by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) and the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission's 16 CFR Part 1203.

It is the latter (CPSC) that you are most likely to see on newer helmets, and only very high end helmet manufacturers incur the addition expense of Snell Certification. This is certainly not necessary for the casual rider, but maybe a great approach for the aggressive racer or mountain bike downhill rider.

More Information:
Best Features of a Bicycle Helmet
Snell Foundation
Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute

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copyright Jan. 2007