December 14th, 2009For Law or Life

In Delhi both riders need helmets quality immaterial!

In Delhi both riders need helmets quality immaterial!

Best way to wear a helmet for smoking and spitting!

Best way to wear a helmet for smoking and spitting!

This is not new. It has been said in this blog many times before. This blog even has a post on the proper way to select helmet and also wearing it. Of course I am sure it is not needed. Papers talk about it. Police talk about it. Doctors talk about it. Victims talk about it. But many don’t seem to listen. Many find it as a verbal diarrhea of persons with lack of hair instead of lock of hair! Many of those who wear it do so to escape police and not injury. Then what prompted me to make this post. Just an item I saw in the Times of India yesterday on cause of epilepsy.

“Survivors of traumatic brain injuries face an extra hurdle as they recover. Thousands of them will develop post-traumatic seizures(PTS) months or years later. Many children and adults suffer serious brain injuries every year from car or bike crashes, falls, wounds and other trauma. Whereas only a small minority has seizures soon after injury, majority do not have seizures until at several months and sometimes even years after the injury”.

So says the report that goes on to talk about traumas and ends with this exhortation. “Brain injury, a common cause of epilepsy, is totally preventable, so proactive intervention is very important. Always wear your seat belt in the car and reduce the risk of brain injury by wearing helmets while riding a bike and during risky activities;this can help lessen the chance of developing epilepsy. Following traffic rules, not using mobile phones while driving and no drinking and driving can help reduce brain injuries and thereby prevent PTS”.

Those who are interested can read a report in the latest edition of India Today. The report can be read at this link ‘http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/Story/70605/Cover%20Story/Killer+roads.html’. There is an article in the current edition of Readers Digest talk of the need to educate the drivers.

Is anyone listening???!!!

To be or not to be – confusion carries on. To wear or not to wear. A confusion compounded by shifting stance of the government and lethargic attitude of traffic police. It is a wonder that such a life saving accessory is to be forced on by law! Rather than getting into what the police or government should do it is always my argument that our safety depends first on our action or inaction. So here are some observations and suggestions.

Let us take the helmet first. It is a personal thing. Not one size fits all accessory. It should not be too tight or too loose. You get head aches in the first case and neck sprain in the second. The strap should always be worn tight but not too tight. Take time when you buy a helmet.

Wear one you fancy (of course you won’t fancy one if you are buying just to beat the law) and move around the shop (unless you are buying from the platform, which is not recommended as the law requires an ISI certified one) for atleast 15 seconds to get the feel and fit. With the strap on of course. Too tight or too loose, reject. Find a sung fit, maybe a little tighter which will ease out after some days and become comfortable. The line of the visor should be just above your eye brow and if you grasp the jaw protection and the top of the helmet and move it upwards there should not be much movement. This way you can select the best helmet for you and by wearing it with the strap on you can be assured that it will not fly away in the event of an accident.

Now for the actual scenario on road. Read the rest of this entry »

January 14th, 2009Reckless & careless

My friend entered office totally shaken. Just 10 minutes back she witnessed an accident involving a young student and a bus. First reaction – ‘blame the bus’! But the fault was with the girl.

The girl on a two wheeler cut across the road diagonally in the path of the bus and was hit by it but not run over. Then how did she die?

She was wearing a helmet! Then how did she die?

She was not wearing the strap of the helmet. The bus hit her and she fell down. Her head hit the road as the helmet flew off in the impact of the bus.

Crossing the road recklessly and not strapping the helmet properly has resulted in loss of a young life on an auspicious day(Pongal/Shankaranthi).

My friend witnessed something else and was appreciative. The traffic policeman nearby borrowed a cloth from one of the passengers and covered the girl as her blouse was torn in the accident.

But my reaction was it is the traffic policeman’s fault that she died. If only the traffic police had regularly implemented the road rules and booked any offender this wouldn’t have happened. Neither reckless crossing nor helmet for rule sake would have happened. The girl would be alive now.

I feel I am cynical, or am I?

There were a few news items recently or should I say few deaths reported in the news papers recently which are not just news or deaths but lessons.

1. Two youngsters going on a bike dashed against a stationary lorry while trying to negotiate a pothole and the rider died and the pillion rider is serious.

2. Two youngsters going on a bike dashed against a lamp post which is positioned dangerously on the curve they were taking. The rider died.

3. A 23 year old woman/wife/mother died when a MTC bus dashed the bike she was riding with her husband and one year old child. All of them fell down and dragged for a distance. The woman riding as a pillion rider who suffered fatal injuries.

4. A 4 year old girl died while playing by a lorry backing up. Read the rest of this entry »


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