Helmets are a Must! Here’s Why

Posted in Car Insurance Blogs By Sajhyadri Chattopadhyay-Feb 12,2023
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If you love driving, and own a bike, chances are that you try to hit the road with your two-wheeler as often as you can. And it’s not just you; it is every ardent biker’s go-to activity for winding down, be it exploring different routes on the weekend, or just setting off early in the morning for an urban ride. But your enthralling adventures can hit a snag if you don’t remember to follow the golden rule of the roads – safety first!  

On any given day, your priority on the roads should be driving safely, and wearing a helmet is one of the most basic steps you should take to ensure that you and your loved ones are safe on the road. We all know that a bike cannot provide the structural protection that you get from a car. This makes it more vital for all motorcyclists to go the extra mile for road safety.  

Say Yes to Safety!

Traffic accidents are a sad but glaring everyday occurrence in India. The onus is on you to ensure your safety. No matter the distance, no matter the road, wearing a helmet is beneficial to you for many reasons –

  • Secures your head: In most road accidents, we find that the most common form of road injury involves some form of head injury to the bike driver or the pillion rider. Depending on the fall’s or crash’s intensity, you can suffer anything, from a mild cut or gash to a severe head injury, including brain trauma. Wearing a helmet significantly reduces the intensity of the impact you suffer from an accident as well as the severity of the injury on your head.
  • Protects your eyes: Riding a bike puts considerable pressure on your eyes. From sharp winds and sunrays to water and dust particles, it can cause ample inconvenience and even discomfort. Even worse, it hinders your vision while driving, leading to untoward incidents. Prolonged exposure to such weather conditions can also cause numerous vision ailments, ultimately affecting your health. Thus, a helmet helps to protect your eyes and ensures you drive without distractions.
  • Stops the cold: Of all seasons, winter and monsoon are the most challenging for bikers. Piercing gusts of cold wind cause discomfort to your eyes and blur your vision. Besides chilly breezes, the rain can also distract you from your ride. Wearing a helmet during extreme weather conditions ensures that your ride and vehicle’s control are free of distractions. Overall, a helmet protects you from the ills of the harsh weather and makes sure you drive comfortably.
  • Provides better control: From honking cars to yelling conductors, a multitude of distractions steal your focus on roads. When you wear a helmet, the encircled vision helps to target your entire attention on the road. This gives you better peace of mind while driving as well as better control. Hence, even if you have to swerve left and right to manoeuvre against the traffic or speed up on a highway, you can do it without endangering yourself.
  • Complies with laws: Along with owning and driving a vehicle in India, it is mandatory to insure your car or bike. Similarly, there are legal provisions that make it compulsory for drivers as well as pillion riders of two-wheelers to wear a helmet. Failing to do so can incur significant fines and other penalties as per the law. By wearing a helmet, you keep yourself safe, abide by the country’s laws, and also prevent fines from burning a hole in your pocket.  

What Says the Law?  

In India, the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 makes it compulsory for all two-wheeler riders to wear helmets. After the act was amended in 2019, a total of 63 clauses were added to it, including an increased penalty, to increase the awareness of wearing helmets. As per this amended act –  

  • Section 129 of this act states that any citizen over the age of 4 must wear ‘protective headgear’ when they are riding a bike. This is applicable to both drivers and pillion riders of two-wheelers.  
  • Section 129(a) dictates specific criteria regarding the shape of a helmet and the materials used to build one, so that it offers maximum protection to the person wearing it.  
  • Section 129(b) makes it compulsory for bike riders to secure their helmets to their head using fasteners like straps. These ensure that your helmet does not fall off easily even if you face an accident on the road.  
  • Section 194D rules that any citizen will have to pay a fine of ₹1000 for not wearing a helmet or failing to comply with the specific rules and regulations about wearing one. Moreover, your driving license can be suspended for up to three months.  

What is ISI Certification? 

In India, helmets must be certified by the Indian Standards Institute. Known as ISI mark or ISI certification, this practice started and began to be enforced in 1993. ISI-certified helmets come with a sticker on the back, usually written as “IS: 4151”. ISI has specific methods for safety testing the helmets produced and distributed in India, which align with the regulatory standards of Economic Commission of Europe (ECE).  

However, the ISI certification for helmets do not include their testing by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), unlike ECE-certified helmets, which are tested by similar independent regulators. Instead, ISI testing involves spot checks that ensure helmet manufacturers always follow certain production standards and are eligible for the renewable license with the ISI mark.  

Thus, ISI-approved helmets provide better all-round protection against mishaps, as they are designed to have a higher impact resistance. When it comes to choosing the correct headgear for your bike, considering its safety ratings is surely a foremost principle. ISI helmets are made with the high-grade polycarbonate and ABS plastic material, giving them high strength, impact resistant, and more durable.  

Helmet over Hell-Met!

Data from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) shows that between 2013 and 2018, around 2.35 lakh motorcyclists lost their life to road accidents across the country, out of which, an estimated 38% were not wearing helmets. Above all, this goes on to show that there is more to life than the thrill you get or the skill you possess behind the wheel. Buying the correct helmet, which follows ISI and other government regulations, goes a long way in ensuring your safety. Helmets protect your head from severe trauma, makes sure your vision is clear, and boosts your attention and control while driving your bike.  

Beyond following the basic safety norms, remember that it is also mandatory to financially secure your two-wheeler with a comprehensive insurance coverage. However, what are you doing to make sure that your helmet keeps protecting you on your ride? For this purpose, you can also opt for a Helmet Insurance from Bajaj Markets! For a low annual fee of ₹199, you can insure your helmet against the cost of repair or replacement, covered up to a high limit of ₹10,000. Protect your protective gear today!  

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