90 % of Indians are asking this question as they think that wearing helmet is an extra burden along with other burdens they carry in their daily life. People give lots of explanation for not wearing helmet while riding bike. In spite of hearing /reading all those accident incidents in news, bike riders still say no to helmet. Some think riding bike is adventures and exciting with no helmet, for some it’s highly irritating, some thinks that carrying helmet wherever they go is highly impossible. They have seen loss of life due to accidents which could have avoided by wearing helmet and suffering of accident victim’s family only in news paper. I just wish that no one experience loss of life especially due to ignorance.
Every year around 1.2 billion people had been into accident in which half of accidents are bike related. Global Status Report on Road safety states that India is one of the leading countries in road accidents. This was mainly due to drunk and drive, speed, no seat belts and only few wear helmet while driving. Major accidents were usually caused by truck drivers but around half of total accidents were by two-wheelers. Death caused by two-wheeler accident is mainly by head injury. When compared to other vehicle bike rides body is fully exposed, if accident occurs the body get affected by collision directly. There is no mechanical barrier between them and colliding object like in other four wheelers.
Motorcycle accident rate is more in under developed and developing country than in developed country. Road facilities are not good in these countries and liberal action is taken in legal measures for not following traffic rules results in increased accidents. Motorcycle accidents are high as bike riders always tend to overtake four-wheelers, won’t follow traffic rules, try to drive fast at intersection to get through the signal without waiting; colour of the bike is also matters (in most the accident case, rate of dark colour bikes met more accident than in light coloured bike).
Head is the main part which gets hurt in lots of accident. Head trauma is the result when heads gets hit in accident. Most of the trauma has minor health problems and doesn’t cause severe effects on health. In certain head injury, head trauma might lead to coma and even death occurs in case of severe injury. Head trauma is of two type’s closed and open trauma. Closed trauma means head get hard blow by hitting an object but the skull doesn’t get broken. In open trauma skull gets fractured and also brain gets severely damaged. Main reason for open trauma is accident; four wheeler riders most of the time escapes due to seat belts, air bags etc when strike happens person gets indirect hit but in case of motorcyclist the strike is direct. So wearing helmet is mandatory.
Helmet how it Works
Helmet is designed as our skull. Brain is inside the skull and surrounded by certain tissue called meninges. This meninges act as shock absorber as skull hits an object; prevents brain from injury. Skull is strong enough to protect brain from injuries. Helmet is designed in same way. Outer layer which is made up of fiber glass and thermoplastic helps to sustain the collision. The secondary layer is usually made up of EPS (expanded polystyrene) which absorbs shock and spread it to wide area; not concentrating in collided place to prevent skull damaging. The inner most layer is padded with soft sponge to give cushion effect and makes helmet wearing comfortable. EPS is crushable and in case accident is happened crushed EPS is replaced by new one as it is inexpensive. Lifespan of helmet is 3-5 years; must buy a new one after that time. Chin strap is important to keep the helmet in place.
Choosing a Proper Helmet
Buy helmet from an authorized dealer, don’t buy it from road side vendors. It may look cheaper than one in store but quality is compromised. Helmet should fit properly. Check the helmet by wearing it; if it is too shaky then it is larger than your head and if it is too tight and difficult to take it off then it is smaller. Helmet should fit to your head properly, shouldn’t shake too much and doesn’t give any strap impression on face after removing it. Look for safety standards approved by government for motorcycle helmet
Why People don’t Want to Wear Helmet
- In countries with tropical climate wearing helmet is uncomfortable due to heat and sweating. In developing and under developed country, traffic is so worst; as people won’t follow the traffic rules properly in spite of various measures taken by government to regulate traffic. In such case waiting for a long time to get pass through traffic is frustrating. Wearing helmet while driving in such traffic is not possible.
- Conditions of roads in these countries are far below the standard. Roads were potholed just in one time rain. Driving in these roads is difficult and should have clear vision while driving. Helmet wearing obstructs the clear vision while driving in these roads in heavy traffic especially during rainy season.
- Clear vision is important in driving. Part of helmet which is known as face shield is transparent, due to wear and tear it becomes blurred and riders will not have clear vision. Helmet also has blind spots on both sides.
- Some of the motorcycle riders drive faster for fun and thinks themselves as courageous person for not wearing helmet while driving faster.
- Carrying the helmet where ever you go is troublesome. If you lock it along with your bike there is a possibility of stealing it. Considering the cost of good quality helmet we can’t keep on buying it each and every time whenever it gets lost.
- For hair care reason some of them avoid wearing helmet as it cause hair fall.
- For short trips in local streets to run errands, people think that helmet is unnecessary.
- Attitude of people in relation to obeying traffic rules is inversely proportional.
Tips to Overcome the above Reasons
When it comes to our highly valued life these reasons is nothing but a big “ZERO”. In tropical countries if we stuck in traffic it’s difficult and we should suffer all these heat and sweat. To avoid that plan your office timing, look for peak hours and start from home earlier which will help to avoid traffic to some extent.
We can do nothing for unconditional roads rather than waiting for the government to solve the problem. In that case we should drive carefully in optimum speed.
Face shield in helmet gets affected by road dust, pollution, rain, heat; and gives blurred vision. So change the face shield or helmet itself as it is not safe to wear blurred vision helmet while driving.
Driving faster is not fun and it is hazardous to you as well as to others. Carrying helmet is bit difficult but losing life is even more difficult. Keep in mind. Short or long trips helmet is must , we can’t say only long trips get into accident. We don’t know what will happen the very next moment, so taking precautionary measures is always better.
Life care is much more important than hair care. Treatment cost for injury caused in accidents is unbearable as it is costly and motorcyclist who met with an accident usually comes from middle-class family. If you are about to drive without helmet think about your family’s emotional and financial status. “Better late than never”. At least from now onwards follow the traffic rules. It not only save your life but also save others life.