Helmet Safety And Technology Move Forward With New 2015 SNELL Ratings
By Taylor Vlahos And Dan Sanchez
Perhaps one of the most important pieces of safety equipment any racer can own is a helmet. More than just a protective piece of gear, helmets are often an extension of the driver’s personality and is often why many are custom painted to showcase their passion for motorsports. Early in motorsport history, racers used leather football helmets with goggles. Thankfully, with the help of new design technologies and lighterweight materials, helmet manufacturers can offer some of the best protection available for any type of motorsport.
When it comes to desert racing, there’s a variety of helmet preferences that racers like to use. Four-wheel vehicles in SCORE don’t have windshields so many drivers in Unlimited classes utilize full-closed face helmets with breathing tubes and communication ports. Powersports racers in SCORE, like to use open-face helmets withgoggles as they are lighter and allow better peripheral vision. While preferences rangebetween drivers and the vehicles they drive, the safety and performance of their choiceof helmet remains constant.
New SA2015 Requirements
Helmet manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to improve protection and reduce weight within industry set safety standards that change every five years. The new SNELL SA2015 safety standards are already being implemented, and helmet manufacturers are already up to date on incorporating these new levels of protection.
“Helmet safety, as you know is updated every five years. The newest is the SA2015 standards,” says Steve Russell at Pyrotect Safety. “We have seen many improvements with the standard itself, and with associations requiring higher standard helmets. For example, some associations are requiring the SA standard rather than allowing the M-rated non-flame retardant helmets. We have also seen many associations now requiring only full-face helmets rather than open face helmets too.”