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September 27, 1995

Helmets and Preventing Motorcycle and Bicycle Injuries: Comments and a Correction

Author Affiliations

Emory University Atlanta, Ga

JAMA. 1995;274(12):940. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530120031023

To the Editor.  —The Council Report on helmets and preventing motorcycle- and bicycle-related injuries1 provides a wealth of information about the efficacy and promotion of motorcycle and bicycle helmets. There are several points that need clarification.The US Department of Transportation has a mandatory standard for all motorcycle helmets offered for sale in the United States (FMVSS 218). The Department of Transportation does not certify that helmets meet these standards, but periodically purchases and tests motorcycle helmets. In 1994, the Department of Transportation tested samples of 125 helmets, and 100 (80%) of these did not meet FMVSS 218 requirements. The ANSI motorcycle helmet standard is voluntary—a manufacturer can "self-certify" that the helmet meets the standard. To meet the requirements for certification to the Snell M-90 motorcycle helmet standard, the Snell Memorial Foundation requires samples of the helmet be tested in the Snell laboratories. If the samples meet the Snell

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