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What's the safest motorcycle helmet? There's no good answer

Every expert you ask will likely tell you that wearing a motorcycle helmet when you ride is a good idea. Texas law allows riders 21 or over to go without a helmet, but those who are younger have to. And the law says it has to be DOT certified.

Is that enough? If you're going to ride a motorcycle and you are conscientious enough to even consider wearing a helmet, aren't you going to want to have the safest helmet possible? Even if it costs six or seven hundred dollars, if it means being sure you're protected as well as you can be if you're in a motorcycle accident, it seems like a small price to pay.

If an item that recently appeared in the Los Angeles Times is right, there is really no way to be sure you have the safest possible helmet. That's because you can't know what kind of accident you are likely to suffer. Helmet testing and certification can't possibly cover all the bases.

There are really only two types of certification available for motorcycle helmets today. The first we mentioned at the start of this post -- DOT. The second is provided by the Snell organization.

Experts generally agree that the DOT standard represents the minimum. They say the Snell standard is more stringent, making it harder to earn. In fact, many helmet makers don't even try to get it. And some experts say the Snell test only tests for one kind of accident. The simulation involves striking the helmet very hard in the same place twice.

What it comes down to is that no helmet maker has come up with one that protects all riders for all the kinds of accidents that are possible. But experts do agree that a certified helmet of some kind is better than no helmet at all.

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