Home Site Map
Writings Home Page
 

Who needs a helmet? Not me!

Dr Nitin Pandey

19-Nov-2008

“It couldn’t happen to me” is what these School children seem to be saying, riding a scooter to school without wearing a helmet; when 85,000 people die and a much higher number of people are injured, deformed and disfigured, from road accidents every year in India.

Every week day morning in Dehra Dun, it is a common sight to see a few such youngsters driving to school, with the morning wind blowing through their hair. Once every few months the Police gets tough and imposes fines on such children, but it serves at best as a temporary dampener on these high spirited youngsters.

Why then do children not wear helmets, inspite of knowing the potential consequences of accidents?
  • “One of them is that I have cute hair. Honestly, I would say my hair is one of my best features and I don’t want it smushed under a helmet for my 5 minute drive to school, leaving me with a flat helmet hair all day”.
  • They are so “uncool” and make you look like an idiot.
  • They are uncomfortable, make you sweat, heavy and the strap sometimes pinches you.
  • They give you a headache.
  • “You don’t really need them if you drive carefully”.
  • It is difficult to carry them around and they get stolen.
  • Adults also don’t use them and if they put it on their heads, usually the straps are open.
How then can we convince these children to wear helmets? The most important thing is to set the correct example by wearing one every time we drive a two wheeler, properly. A well worn helmet should be comfortable, with its chin strap snuggly fitting. It should not be kept on the head, way too back.

Then we must understand that accidents can happen even if you are driving slowly and carefully. Someone else can be driving rashly, a stray animal or child can run in front of you or you may not see a broken road. The speed at which your head hits the ground is sufficient to cause enough injury even if the speed of your scooter was very slow. Injuries from even minor falls can sometimes disfigure your face, so it is better to have “smushed helmet hair” than a scarred face. Getting children who have gone through serious accidents to talk to school children can be very effective.

There is a need to make helmet wearing appear “cool”. This can be achieved by having attractively shaped and colored helmets available in the market. Helmets can have signatures of famous sports or film personalities or other “cool” designs. There should be air vents in them so that sweating is reduced. Chin straps can be made softer and attractive. Helmets for girls can be beautifully colored, like pink, and have flowers, butterflies and birds on them.

There are hundreds of advertisements daily for motorcycles and scooters on TV featuring Bollywood stars and not a single one for helmets. It could be made compulsory for such advertisers to add a ten second clip by the same star, urging the use of helmets while driving two wheelers. This could have a significant impact on the teenage audience.

Finally, scooter stands should accept custody of helmets. At present you can leave your helmet on your scooter at your own risk or carry it with you, both of which are troublesome options. If the scooter stand attendant gave you a receipt for your scooter and your helmet that would give everyone less problem in using a helmet.


Get Updates Get SMS Updates
Add to Google Receive SMS Updates
Top

Please comment on the article



Your Name:
Your E mail:
Comments:

Abusive, inappropriate or offensive comments are likely to be edited or deleted.


Read comments

Date04-Sep-16
From: As proof of how useless her blog is, has Kerf talked about nutrition during breast feeding AT ALL?The whole endeavor would feel a lot more authentic if she addressed such things as balancing nutrition with breast feeding and wanting to get back in shape o
As proof of how useless her blog is, has Kerf talked about nutrition during breast feeding AT ALL?The whole endeavor would feel a lot more authentic if she addressed such things as balancing nutrition with breast feeding and wanting to get back in shape or watching the infant for signs of alAesgier.ls it is, what is the point?




Top