Full-face helmet: the wonder head protector

Using high-quality protective gear can drastically cut accident deaths: traffic cops

Full-face helmet: the wonder head protector

Deen Dayal (23), a factory worker from Haryana, died from head injuries as his motorbike crashed into an electricity pole on the Outer Ring Road in Nagarabhavi, west Bengaluru, on March 12. Wearing a low-quality helmet didn’t help him.

Ahead of the World Head Injury Awareness Day on March 20, DH takes a look at various aspects of the matter.

The traffic police say many motorcyclists in Bengaluru die every month as they do not use high-quality or full-face helmets. There are many others who do not use helmets at all, especially in outer areas such as ring roads, beyond Electronics City, Sarjapur Road, KR Puram, Peenya, Jalahalli, Byatarayanapura, Kengeri and Kumaraswamy Layout. The traffic police say almost half of the riders and pillion riders do not use helmets as they don’t understand the value of safety. They use helmets mainly in the central business district because of the reduced speed of vehicles, police presence and surveillance cameras at traffic junctions.

Cases of riding without helmets are on the rise despite strict enforcement and awareness campaigns undertaken by the traffic police. Using a full-face helmet while riding anywhere in Bengaluru is one of the important steps towards preventing road accident fatalities in a city which has the highest two-wheeler population in the country (46.5 lakh as of January 2017), police say. The total vehicular population in Bengaluru stands at 67.2 lakh.

About 35% of riders and pillion riders are killed in road accidents every year with head injuries accounting for 80% of deaths. A survey conducted by the Bengaluru police showed that wearing helmets could reduce the risk of head injuries by around 69% and deaths by around 42%. About 70% of  riders in the city are in the 18-35 age group.

The traffic police blame low fines for the failure of their awareness and enforcement campaigns and favour a steep increase in them. “We can fine a rider just Rs 100 for not wearing helmet. A steep fine may instil some discipline,” Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) R Hithendra said.

As far as car users are concerned, police strongly recommend that those sitting in the front wear seat belts as they are likely to sustain head injuries in case of accidents. Wearing the seat belt can reduce the risk of deaths.

“Riders should wear high-quality helmets not because police are manning traffic junctions, but because it is for their own personal safety,” Hithendra said.
DH News Service

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