Check the back of the helmet – there should be a sticker that tells you if the helmet meets one of the three safety standard certifications. There are three major safety standards for motorcycle helmets: DOT (“Department of Transportation”, ECE “Economic Commission for Europe”, and SNELL (“Snell Memorial Foundation”). If a helmet has one of these safety certifications, this means that it has passed testing by one of these organizations, which is a sign of the helmet’s quality and safety rating. The most basic safety standard is usually considered to be DOT, and ECE is very similar. SNELL is considered to be a more demanding safety standard. At minimum, you should try to purchase helmets with these safety standards, and preferably DOT/SNELL, for the highest safety rated helmets. Additionally, a helmet is a purchase you should always buy new. A previously owned or used helmet may have been damaged or compromised in a way that has diminished its structure and features, leaving you vulnerable to more severe injury.