Metrolife: Don’t take helmet rule lightly, doctors warn

Metrolife: Don’t take helmet rule lightly, doctors warn

Not strapping helmets or improper use of helmets is a common sight in the city, even among police officials. DH PHOTO BY SRIKANTA SHARMA R

In a road accident last week, a resident of Kodagu rammed into a pole on 100 Feet Road, Indiranagar, and died from head injuries. He was carrying a helmet in his hand.

Doctors treating trauma and brain injury say many deaths can be avoided if two-wheeler riders simply wear helmets.

“We get 10 to 15 road accident cases every day of which at least one has suffered trauma for want of a helmet,” says Dr Arun L Naik, senior consultant and head of the department (neurosurgery), Apollo Hospitals.

Most victims are between 20 to 40 years and 90 percent are male, he adds.

Of the many reasons cited by riders for not wearing helmets, ‘just going on a short trip’ is one.

“The riders know the police don’t keep an eye on inner roads. That accidents don’t occur at low velocity is a myth,” he says.

When a rider hits a pothole or is taken by surprise by a jaywalker, grave accidents can occur, he says.

Dr Firozahmad H Torgal, consultant and head of the department of emergency medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital, sees 10 to 15 cases of head injury every month.

“During summer, many young adults are on the roads and they are often seen without helmets. Traumatic brain injury varies from blood clots in the brain to multiple fractures in the skull,” he says.

Stringent law enforcement is the only way to shake up motorists, he believes.

“The laws are strict but the implementation is poor. People need to be made aware that such accidents can leave them in a vegetative state,” he says.

Manish Rungta, assistant chief traffic warden (Ulsoor), says motorists without a helmet on the roads are a common sight.

“Motorists riding without helmets, placing them on the petrol tank or on their elbow, is common,” he says.

He wonders why people hang helmets on their arm instead of wearing them. “And there are people who wear helmets up on their forehead or don’t strap them on,” he says.

At least 50 percent of bike riders don’t make proper use of their helmets, estimates Rungta. “Campaigns are not helping and heavy fines will not do the trick. A daily check is required more than intensive campaigns from time to time,” he adds.

India tops head injury list
India is the head injury capital of the world, and 90 percent are caused by road accidents, says Dr Firozahmad H Torgal, Columbia Asia Hospital.

At all hours
Motorists say they can’t wear helmets because of the afternoon heat, but that’s just
an excuse. How do you explain them not wearing helmets at 5 am or 7 pm? Such reckless attitude has become habitual now.
— MANISH RUNGTA, Assistant chief traffic warden (Ulsoor)