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Some people will tell you a Snell approved helmet is best, some will tell you a DOT approved helmet is best and others will simply say it doesn't matter that any helmet will do.
The fact is it does matter.
DOT approved helmets are able to soak up a large amount of impact energy.
They are also known to prevent most types of penetration as well as have a fastening system that will hold up to significant force according to the standards for DOT certification. A DOT approved helmet will have a sticker on the back stating that it is approved. However, do not just take the sticker at face value, do your homework and make sure the manufacturer of the helmet is DOT approved.
Snell approved helmets are tested for roll-off capability, dynamic strength and penetration in addition to impact, anvil and shield testing.
Ultimately it is your decision which helmet to purchase.
Do your homework, understand what each test means and figure out which helmet is right for you. The helmet that will do the most for the rider in the event of an accident will protect the head, face and neck which is what they are expected to do.