Helmets – To Avoid a Traffic Fine or for Your Safety?

“It’s uncomfortable and hot”, “It messes up my hair”, “it doesn’t look cool”,  “I’m only going for a short distance”, “I’m not going to fall, so I don’t need one” would be a few out of the many reasons you likely have for not wearing a helmet. Maybe you should reconsider this because there is possibly no valid excuse for not strapping this vital piece of protective gear while riding.

Motorcycle crashes are the cause of severe morbidity and mortality especially because of the head, brain, and neck injuries. It seems that wearing a helmet has an effective role in protection against such injuries, nevertheless, motorcyclists usually have little to no tendency to wear a helmet when riding in cities.

Road accident injuries are a serious public health problem and a leading cause of death and injury around the globe. Each year nearly 151 thousand people die as a result of road crashes in India itself, not mentioning those who are injured or disabled for life. India is a country which majorly moves on two-wheels, hence making it more vulnerable to being involved in fatal accidents. People need to understand the risks of riding without a helmet. 

Riders who do not wear helmets are at risk of suffering a traumatic brain and neck injuries if they meet with an accident. Without proper protection, the head is vulnerable to a scarring impact in the accident even when traveling at lower speeds.

Non-fatal injuries usually have serious and long-term repercussions. Brain trauma often results in spinal cord injuries and disabilities that require extensive care and multiple physical therapies. Besides, the damaged brain may deteriorate after hospitalization and die days to weeks after the injury due to secondary injuries.

Because the fatal risk of such brain injuries is very high, people must take action to protect themselves and those around us while riding. Wearing a helmet that is approved by the Transportation Department is the first of many and the single most effective precaution a rider can take to increase safety on the road. They play a vital role in reducing the risk of serious and fatal injuries by reducing the impact of a force or collision to the head.

Riding can give you a sense of freedom, but the breeze of the air, the dust particles, or the blazing heat can cause trouble. While at lower temperatures, a ride without a helmet could invite cold and cough, in the scorching sun, it could lead to sunstroke. And what’s more annoying than a dust particle in your eye while riding? It can cause severe accidents. A helmet while riding would make the experience more enjoyable.

Leaving helmet usage up to individual riders is not an effective way to encourage helmet usage. Laws making helmet use compulsory are significant in increasing the wearing of helmets and thus reducing fatalities during accidents, especially in countries like India where helmet-wearing rates are low, and where there are large numbers of motorized two-wheeler users. When mandatory helmet laws are enforced, helmet-wearing rates have been found to increase to 90% but when such laws are repealed, wearing rates fall back to generally less than 60%.

Riding carelessly could be a bad example for the coming generations. Riding a bike without a helmet not only jeopardizes the rider’s life but also of others’. Even other riders who are on the road may not feel safe around a rider who, to prove his swagger, has rejected the helmet. Also remember that while helmets are protective, they aren’t perfect. That’s why it’s important to further reduce your risk by exercising caution while on-road, like watching your speed and obeying traffic rules. As citizens, people should set an example of how not to endanger lives.

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