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The Newsletter of the Snell Memorial Foundation

June 16, 2011

This is the fifty-sixth edition of the Foundation's newsletters to the helmet manufacturing industry. The fifty fifth was sent out in December 2010. Comments and items for inclusion in subsequent issues are invited.

PDF version

In Memoriam

Harold Allen Fenner, Jr., MD, passed away in his sleep April 27th, 2011. Dr. Fenner had been President of the Snell Board of Directors from 1993 through October of 2010. He is greatly missed.

In This Issue

February Manufacturer’s Meeting

Manufacturers’ Meeting The Foundation’s annual manufacturer’s meeting was held the evening of February 17, 2011 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, at the Westin Indianapolis Hotel, 50 S. Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46204. Attendance was sparse. This may have been due to the shift from previous morning meetings to one set in the early evening. We thought the early evening would allow attendees to fly in the same day and avoid the expense of an extra night’s stay. Your advice for next year’s meeting will be gratefully received.


FMVSS 218 (DOT) New Rule

NHTSA has published the new rule revising the DOT standard. This comes of the NPRM, new proposed rulemaking, of late 2008. It includes provisions for labeling and a number of procedural changes in the test requirements. In particular, it specifies tolerances for the velocities of the impact tests. Although these tolerances have been narrowed somewhat from those proposed in 2008, the effect is that DOT compliance demands will be tougher when the new rule takes effect in May of 2013. The revised DOT requirements will allow impact velocities up to 0.2 m/sec greater than the nominal 6.0 m/sec and 5.2 m/sec originally demanded for flat and hemi anvil testing. Drop masses may be up to 100 grams heavier or lighter than the specified value. Helmets must meet the peak G and time duration criteria for any allowable impact.

A quick review of some current M2010 helmets suggests that the new requirements may not pose a problem. Snell helmets ought always to manage DOT hemi impacts. And for flat impact, the lighter head form masses, lower G criteria and greater energy management demands combine to reduce any risk of conflict with DOT time duration demands. Still, even slight changes in drop mass and impact velocity may produce sharp, disproportionate increases in time durations for flat impact and in peak G for hemi impact. The entire motorcycle helmet industry must be aware of the consequences of this new rule.


SA2010 FHR Addendum

All helmets submitted for SA2010 and equipped with appropriate tether mount hardware will be subjected to the loading tests specified in this addendum. Qualifying helmets will be eligible for an “SAH2010" certification assuring that the frontal head restraint provisions have also been met. Helmets previously certified to SA2010 may be resubmitted for testing to the addendum.

Please be aware that FIA will continue to require separate FIA 8858-2010 homologation for FHR performance. Snell is FIA accredited to perform his test and, since the SA2010 FHR Addendum is identical to FIA 8858-2010, a single set of procedures is sufficient to qualify for both SAH2010 and for FIA 8858-2010. However, Snell cannot award the FIA 8858-2010 homologation directly. Manufacturers must still make formal application to FIA through their designated National Sports Authorities in order to obtain FIA 8858-2010 homologation.


Certified Products Lists

Please check the Snell certified products lists at periodically to be certain that all listings are current and correct and advise us of all necessary corrections, additions or deletions. Spreadsheets detailing brand, model and size designations for each certified helmet are available to certified manufacturers on request.


Submissions for Certification

When submitting helmets for certification testing, please make sure that all the helmets are complete and in ready-for-use condition. All the samples should have all the necessary face shields, peaks (eye shades) and other accessories included with them. Lab managers may grant one-time exceptions to this policy but exceptions will be rare. If an exception is necessary, ask in advance, before sending samples.


New Hire

Ms. Stephanie Palmer will join the Snell Staff this July as a Mechanical Engineer. Ms. Palmer is currently a member of the Sac State Formula Racing Team and can answer Jerry Seinfeld’s question, “Why would anyone do anything for which they’d need a helmet?” We look to her for continuity as we, her aged colleagues, are finally put out to pasture.


Comments and Suggestions

Please direct any comments, suggestions or complaints about any aspect of the Snell programs or services to Ed Becker.


Contacting Snell

US office:
Snell Memorial Foundation, Inc.
3628 Madison Avenue, Suite 11
North Highlands, CA 95660
Phone: 916-331-5073; Fax: 916-331-0359; Email:
All Other:Ed
UK office:
4 Farnham Business Centre
Dogflud Way, Farnham
Contact:Paul Walker,
Phone:+44 (0) 1252 714920
Fax:+44 (0) 1252 737137

Editor: Hong Zhang, Director of Education