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Does your motorcycle helmet have a safety rating?

Riding a motorcycle is not only an efficient and cost-effective way to commute, but it also gives you a unique look at Seattle. As you probably know, though, motorcycle riders are often at increased risk of serious injury or death in a collision. In fact, for every mile you travel, you are 34 times more likely to die in a crash than drivers of cars, trucks or SUVs. 

The road can be dangerous for motorcycle enthusiasts. One of the best ways to stay safe on your motorcycle is always to wear a helmet. Unfortunately, not all helmets provide the same level of protection. To know if your helmet has the structural integrity to protect your head and neck, you should look for a safety rating. Typically, one of the following three organizations provides its stamp of approval on good-quality helmets.

The U.S. Department of Transportation 

If you buy a helmet in the United States, look for a safety rating from the U.S. Department of Transportation. This federal department has standards that helmet manufacturers must satisfy to win its approval. While some riders think the department could go further, a helmet with a USDOT seal usually provides decent protection. 

The Snell Foundation 

The Snell Foundation is a nonprofit organization that focuses on rider safety. Its testing standards are somewhat more rigorous than the USDOT. If you invest in a helmet with a Snell rating, you can be certain you are getting some of the best protection available for your head. 

The Economic Commission for Europe 

A growing number of helmets comes from places outside the United States. For example, if you want to buy a motocross helmet, there is a good chance you have found a few options from Germany, Switzerland and Italy. If you buy a helmet from a European country, look for a safety seal from the Economic Commission for Europe. 

Even if you find a helmet with a safety rating from one of the above organizations, you want to be certain it fits your head perfectly. Still, by looking for a safety-rated helmet, you are likely already ahead of the game.

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