Helmet Safety Ratings

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 08/05/2023

When it comes to bike gear, one of the top things that you need is a helmet. There are many different types of helmets available in the market which makes choosing one a difficult task. Just like there are many models and companies, there are many organisations that certify helmets. Thus, it is essential to understand the testing and certifications in detail because accidents on the roads are quite common, and to protect yourself, wearing a good quality helmet is an absolute necessity.

While you protect yourself with a helmet, it is also essential to financially secure yourself against any mishappenings on the road. The way to do that is to buy suitable insurance for the bike. A bike insurance plan ensures that you do not have to stress while you drive your favourite bike on Indian roads.

Tata AIG has a variety of bike insurance plans available. You can buy bike insurance online from the comfort of your home. The process of renewal of the insurance plan for the bike is quite hassle-free as well. Moreover, if you want to avoid the hassle of having to renew the two-wheeler insurance plan year after year, a long-term two-wheeler insurance plan is suitable as that will keep your bike insured for two or three years.

Let us understand the details of the bike helmet safety ratings.

Bike Helmet Safety Ratings: ISI, SNELL, DOT, SHARP, and ECE

Several organisations test the helmets and rate their safety. These organisations use several different ratings and methods to provide motorcycle helmet safety ratings. It is essential to understand all these different organisations and their helmet ratings. Here is a list of some of the common ones that you need to know about:

ISI (Indian Standard Institute)

ISI is one of the Indian government-approved organisations for testing and certification of motorcycle helmets. It is also known as the BIS(Bureau of Indian Standards). Helmets that are certified and given ratings by ISI are considered to be safe and legal to use in the country. Thus, if the bike helmet ratings have been provided by ISI, it is safe and you can buy it.

SNELL Memorial Foundation (SNELL)

SNELL is a not-for-profit organisation that is known to test and then certify the helmets. The helmets that have been certified by SNELL are considered to be some of the safest helmets on the market. Thus, you can trust the motorbike helmet safety ratings from this organisation.

US DOT (Department of Transportation)

The safety standards for all the manufacturers of helmets in the US are set by DOT. Helmets that are according to the standards set by DOT have the ‘DOT’ imprinted on the back of the motorbike helmets. The motorcycle safety ratings of helmets provided by this organisation are reliable and accurate.

**SHARP (Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Program) **

The safety standards of helmets in the UK are set by the SHARP. It is the accepted helmet safety ratings provider in the UK. Helmets that have been tested and certified by SHARP have the word ‘SHARP’ imprinted on the back of the motorbike helmets.

Economic Commission of Europe (ECE)

The safety standards for all the manufacturers of helmets in Europe are set by ECE. The helmet ratings are accepted in more than 50 European towns and cities. The motorcycle safety ratings provided by ECE are accepted by some of the top motorsport organisers like MotoGP, Formula US, etc.

Remember that this is a list of only some of the organisations that test and certify helmets. You must do your own research and purchase a motorbike helmet that is certified and tested by one of the reputable and reliable organisations.

Which is the Best Helmet Safety Rating?

When buying a new helmet there are many safety ratings as well as certifications that you will see. It might get confusing to understand the difference between the different ratings and certifications but to choose the right helmet there is a need of understanding the details. Given below are the details of all the motorbike helmet safety ratings to help you understand which one you should choose.

DOT rating

The DOT rating is essential for all bike manufacturers in the US(United States). In order to pass the DOT rating, motorbike helmets need to undergo impact and essential penetration tests. The labelling, as well as user information requirements, also need to be fulfilled. The best thing about the DOT rating is that it is approved by the US government which means that it is trustworthy.

ECE rating

The ECE rating is essential in Europe and some countries in South America and Asia. Just like DOT, in order to pass the ECE rating test, helmets must undergo essential penetration and impact tests. The user information and labelling requirements also need to be fulfilled. The main difference between ECE and DOT ratings is that ECE has set different performance requirements and tests for different kinds of helmets, such as bicycle helmets and motorcycle helmets.

SHARP rating

The SHARP rating has been developed by the government of the UK. The star helmet rating system is adopted. The ratings are based on the results of the impact tests of the helmets. The helmet with the best results is given five-star ratings. Apart from the impact tests, other things that are considered for the rating include ventilation, ease of usage, and vision.

ISI rating

Just like DOT and ECE, in order to pass the ISI helmet rating test, helmets have to go through essential penetration and impact tests. The user information and labelling requirements also need to be fulfilled. But, ISI is specific to the Indian government and is essential for any helmet that is sold in India. The Indian government accepts the rating and with the bike helmet ratings, the helmets are considered to be safe and reliable.

SNELL rating

The SNELL helmet rating is not required by any of the governments but is still accepted as a mark of the reliability and safety of the helmets. The SNELL certification is provided after some of the most rigorous and stringent impact tests. Also, to get certified, the helmets need to pass some essential user information and labelling requirements.

How to Choose the Best and Safest Helmet?

Here are some of the top tips to help you choose a safe helmet:

  • You must select a helmet that has an ISI mark on it. This ensures that the helmet that you are buying is reliable and safe.
  • Select a helmet that has a shell made of polycarbonate or composite. Both these materials are considered to be very strong and will protect in case there is an accident on the road.
  • Find a helmet with a sturdy strap on the chin and also with a quick-release system. This will ensure that your helmet stays in place when a crash takes place.
  • Always check the fitting of your helmet. It should ideally be snug but should not be very tight for you. When you move your head, your helmet should not move.
  • Choose a motorbike helmet that has good ventilation to make you feel comfortable and cool.


A helmet is one of the essential gears required when you are on the roads in India. A motorbike helmet ensures your safety in the event of an accident.

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