It isn’t safe to prick yourself with a ‘safety’ pin



SHRINIDHI HANDE writes from Madras: This report in Praja Vani states that the number of deaths and injuries of two-wheeler riders hasn’t come down post the enforcement of the compulsory helmet rule.

It appears to suggest that using helmets, on the other hand, increases the number of casualties and injuries.

The great helmet debate can be never ending, but why blame helmets when people never use them scientifically?

Most of us put on the helmet—or carry it on the mirror of our bikes, or have the pillion hold it for us—for fear of the police fining us.

How many of us buy the right brand of helmet with the right fit? How many of us clip the strap? How many of us clip it tightly? Most of us leave the strap hanging, both because it saves time and the police won’t fine us for not doing so. These could be the reasons why the death count hasn’t come down despite the helmet rule being in force.

Helmets will be effective only when we wear them scientifically. During a crash, if it has to absorb the impact and protect our skull, it is essential that helmet is firmly held against our head by tightening the strap to the right tension.

If we leave the strap unbuckled leaving the helmet free to move around, it will be able to absorb only a fraction of the impact (during a collision/crash) and pass on the rest to the head.

That defeats the very purpose of a helmet. How can a life jacket keep you afloat in water if you don’t tie it properly around you? Helmet also functions somewhat similar. Besides advocating usage of helmet, we need to educate people to use it properly (buckle the strap tightly) for increased effectiveness.