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April 2006

The Quarterly Newsletter of the Snell Memorial Foundation

This is the forty-second edition of the Foundation's quarterly newsletters to the helmet manufacturing industry.                            pdf  version 

In This Issue

  1. Annual Snell/Manufacturers Meeting
  2. Final Report of HIC Workshop
  3. Helmets for Children�s Motor Sports
  4. New Motorcycle Helmet DVD and Brochure
  5. NASA ProRacing and SCCA
  6. 2005 Decals
  7. M2005 and SA/K2005 Standards
  8. Editors Note
Who to Contact at Snell


 Annual Snell/Manufacturers Meeting

The Foundation�s annual Manufacturer�s Meeting was held on Friday, February 17, 2006, at the Westin Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. Dr. Fenner, Dr. Thomas and Mr. William H. Muzzy represented the Foundation�s board of directors. Snell staff members Steve Johnson, Randy McCarty and Ed Becker also attended. The discussion included the CM2006 standard for children�s motorcross sports, the status of the current M-2005, SA/K-2005 Standards, and other issues related to future changes in the Snell Standards.

 Final Report of HIC Workshop

Collaborating with the Department of Neurosurgery of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Snell completed the publication of the final report of the Workshop on Criteria for Head Injury and Helmet Standards, which was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 6, 2005. A CD of the final report is available now. A copy is sent to all Snell certified manufacturers with this newsletter. A printed paper copy of the report is available upon request from the Snell office. A PDF format digital copy is posted at the Snell web site for downloading. The following is a summary of the report.

The Workshop on Criteria for Head Injury and Helmet Standards was hosted by the Medical College of Wisconsin and sponsored by the Snell Memorial Foundation, Inc. on May 6, 2005. There was extensive discussion of the Head Injury Criterion (HIC) and its application to a wide variety of engineering test standards. It was generally agreed that HIC should not be used for crash helmet test standards for all the reasons discussed in the report.

A list of important issues for crash helmet standards was identified by the participants. The list is contained in the workshop report. As identified in the report further discussion and research are needed to resolve the differences of opinion on the issues. The list will be used as a guide for future workshops.

Helmets for Children�s Motor Sports

The 2006 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Children�s Motor Sports Activities, CM2006, has been completed and sent out to manufacturers and others for comment. Anyone interested in receiving a copy should contact Ed Becker at the Snell office.

The standard calls out two separate sets of requirements, one set applies to young children aged six through eleven years. Helmets for this age group are tested to different requirements than those set in Snell�s adult motorsports helmet standards. Helmets for children age twelve years and older, however, are tested to all the requirements of Snell�s M2005 standard along with an additional weight limitation requirement.

Both sets of requirements demand full face helmets. Furthermore, these recommendations apply to off road activities or to organized and closely controlled events only, the Foundation does not recommend any street motor vehicle activities for either younger or older children.

Manufacturers and parents must all pay special attention to fit quality, especially for younger children. Although there is a considerable overlap in head circumferences between adults and young children, other dimensions may be considerably shorter. A child who can comfortably wear an adult sized soft cap may still be unsuited for adult sized helmets, particularly, full face helmets.

New Motorcycle Helmet DVD and Brochure

Snell has produced a new motorcycle helmet safety video on DVD. This new video features motorcycle crash survivors and their testimonies of helmet effectiveness along with advice for buying and fitting helmets. High quality slow motion pictures demonstrate the rigorous Snell testing requirements and procedures. Copies of the DVD video will be mailed to motorcycle dealer stores to promotion helmet safety. A new motorcycle helmet safety brochure is also available. For your order in quantities, please contact Hong Zhang at the Snell office or log on the Snell web site ( under the �Educational Materials� sub-page. A copy of the new brochure is posted on the Snell web site.

NASA ProRacing and SCCA

In 2004 and 2005, the National Auto Sports Association (NASA) invited Snell to give a presentation to its technical scrutineers during its annual training meetings. The PowerPoint prensentation, which introduces the SA/K2005 standard, Snell certification and RST programs and discusses issues regarding after-market helmet modification and damaged helmets, etc, will be included in NASA�s technical training manual.

2005 Decals

The new SA2005, SA2005 and K2005 decals will appear similar to the M2000, SA2000 and K98 versions. Over the past few years however, we have had an increase in the number of reports of decal white outs, where all of the color printing disappears from the decal. We have located a number of cleaners that we can attribute this phenomenon too, and it is likely other substances can cause this effect. All of the new decals will incorporate an improved laminating process to help alleviate this problem. Of course helmet users must also be reminded that the use of certain chemicals can adversely affect the helmets liner, and ultimately its performance as well as the labeling.

We have been asked to design and make available a two-part decal to help in the tracking of Snell certified helmets in inventories. We have come up with a two-part decal that would be distributed on the same roll system as the current decals do. The secondary decal is 1 3/4"x 3/4", and is equipped with a bar-code identical to the serial number of the adjoining certification decal to be placed in the helmet. The secondary decal can be used on packaging, or for reporting purposes. We are also investigating the practicality of incorporating a bar-code onto the certification label as well. These items will not be required and the standard single part decals will remain available.


M2005 and SA/K2005 Standards

The certification testing to the M2005, SA/K 2005 Standards continues after the new standards became effective on October 1, 2005. So far, 345 helmet models have been certified to the M2005 Standard and 110 individual helmets certified to the SA/K 2005 Standard. There should be no more production of M2000, SA2000 or K-98 helmets after March 31, 2005. Returned 2000 decals will be given 80% credit of the purchased price and the credit will be applied toward future purchase of the new decals or 30% of their purchased value for cash.

The Snell 2005 standards represent only an increment of improvement on existing requirements. Many Snell M2000, SA2000 and K-98 headgear already meet them. A well fitting, comfortable and good looking Snell 2000 helmet would not turn into a pumpkin after March 31, 2006. You will not have to run out to buy another immediately. By the same token, if you need a helmet now and while you�re looking over the Snell 2005's, you happen to find a new Snell 2000 configuration that fits well and looks good on you, well hey, you can stop looking right there.

If you�re looking for a Snell certified helmet for use in organized competition, however, please consult the rule books and, maybe, the officials before making a purchase. We recommend that these organizations allow helmets certified to the appropriate, current or immediately previous Snell standard but this is purely a recommendation. Racing organizations set their own policies for helmets.

Editors Note

As the editor of the HeadsUp Newsletter, I, Hong Zhang, sincerely apologize for the delayed release of this issue and promise the timeliness of the publication in the future.

Who to Contact at Snell

Snell Memorial Foundation, Inc.
3628 Madison Avenue, Suite 11
North Highlands, CA 95660
Phone: 1-888-SNELL99 (1-888-763-5599) or 916-331-5073
Fax: 916-331-0359

Editor: Hong Zhang, Director of Education

copyright 2005, Snell Memorial Foundation, Inc. - HeadsUp Issue 42