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30000+ Deaths a Day- Just because a False Logic & Habit of Riding Motorcycle Without Helmet?

If this is not a pandemic, What it is?  This is a pandemic for sure! A mechanical pandemic driven by human's false logic, habits and careless attitude.

You can’t see the real happiness and feelings of a real rider while riding. As real riders covers their head with a helmet -Ansh -The Mystic Rider

The Mystic Rider on Instagram
Chapters on this Article
 If you are a motorcyclist this informative  article is for you. You are one of role model for many others. You can bring the change to save humanity. If you are parents and your kids using a motorcycle, this article helps you in understanding various technical aspects and guides your children in right way, an effort by us to promote safe parenting. Anyone who is a friend of humanity and still that human is alive inside, this article is you to spread awareness and save humanity. One you get to know the density of this problem you will be shocked. 1.3 Million i.e 13,000,000 deaths each year. 36000 deaths a day? 

If this is not a pandemic what it is?  This is a pandemic for sure a mechanical pandemic of human habits. Not talking about any disease, instead making an effort to make you understand the severity of the problem. At same time also request your help and support to drive some positive solution to address the problem. Here we are talking about deaths due to road accidents. After reading this paper you will be enlighten with followings:

ü Magnitude of the Problem: Motorcycle Accident & Follow-on Head Injuries.
ü What drives an accident and what is resulting consequence?
ü Relationship between cause and effect and mechanism of an accident
ü Cause which converts in to deaths after an accident and remedies
ü What is a head Injury and how it works at time of a collision?
ü Role of Helmet in preventing Head Injury, thus reduction the chance of deaths
ü What is a Helmet and how it work?
ü The Anatomy of Helmet: Which Section of helmet protect what & how?
ü Information to keep in mind while selecting a correct helmet.
ü Prevailing laws and its impact
ü What drives people to be reluctant of using helmet?
ü What is my role as responsible citizen?
Get Your Helmet Right
हेलमेट हम पुलिस वालों से बचनेकेलिए नहीं , अपने घरवालों से मिलनेकेलिए पहनेंगे

Magnitude of the Problem: Motorcycle Accident & Follow-on Head Injuries:

A lot have been done to prevent Riding Motorcycle Without Helmet, however still something missing. The fundamental questions are still unanswered. Through different sections as follows we try to bring all scientific studies in support of the question to provide a rational answer.

Road accidents are becoming a major global challenge day by day. Every year, injuries related to road traffic causes about 1.3 million deaths worldwide (WHO, 2020) . In case of a road collision, motorcycle users are exposed to potentially higher risk of injury compared to other vehicles.  Particularly lack of physical protection make them more vulnerable. Developing countries like India where two-wheelers contribute about 69% of total motorized vehicles. Which further increase the rate of injury in compared to other higher economic or developed countries.

INDIA: What Our Numbers says?

Trends of Accident & Converting Deaths in India

Alarming Facts:
Ø Motorized Two-wheelers are the largest contributor to total number of accidents in India
Ø In case of a collision two-wheelers are exposed to highest degree of risk in terms of death
Ø All other segments of vehicles reported a declined trends, in contrast to two-wheelers only segment, where accident & deaths are increasing year on year.
Ø Out of total two-wheelers accident, about 24%-30% converts in death

Multiple studies conducted to identify various cause of road accidents and their impacts. Over speeding is one of primary reason which causes majority of road accident globally. A study suggests an increase of 1% speed from mean speed may result in 4% increase in possibilities of accidents and 3% increment in risk of fatal consequence (WHO, 2020).

If we try to categories different causes, can broadly classify them in to three categories (A) Human Error (B) Logistic & Road Condition and (C) Vehicle Condition.

Though road Conditions and condition of vehicles contributes a significant number of road accidents and resulting death, Human Error comes out as leading cause of same. Human Error causes about 60% of deaths in road accidents. Human Error can be broadly categorized as three broad segment (i) Traffic Violations, (ii) Eligibility to Drive (without valid driver license) and (iii) Non-Compliance with Safety Devices (eg: Helmet, Seat Belts etc.).

INDIA & TWO-WHEELERS: The area of concern:
In context of India, once again speeding is the major reason of all road accident. A report by MoRTH confirms over speeding contributes 66.5% to total number of road accidents. The other cause of road accidents are like indiscipline driving, wrong side / lane, Drunk & Drive, Jumping red-light and distraction from external factors (eg: Mobile Phone) (MoRTH, 2019) .  

As we discussed above, two-wheelers in India is the leading contributor to total number of road accident and its resulting death. Deaths related to two-wheelers also increasing year on year, whereas all other kind of vehicles shows a decline trend in last 5 years. The leading cause of death amongst two-wheelers user is Non-wearing of helmets. This contributed around 43000 deaths in the year of 2018, a significant 29% of total death resulting from road accident. It was 24% in 2017 around 36000. Non-wearing of helmets, impact both the rider as well as passengers. Approx. 15000+ deaths of pillion/passenger occurred due to non-wearing of helmet in 2018. (MoRTH, 2019)
Compliance with HELMET: The Eye Opener
Non-Compliance with helmet contributes a higher portion of death in regards to two-wheelers across the globe. Recently WHO published summary report of around 53 different studies across the globes and the findings are eye openers for all (WHO).
Finding Summary of 53 Global Studies:
ü Using of helmet may reduce about 72% risk as well as fatal injury
ü Probability of death may reduce up to 39% compared to non-compliance with helmet
ü Habit of helmet use, potentially reduce the overall hospitalization cost.

An independent report further suggests 42% reduction in risk of serious Injury and 69% reduction in fatal head injury, if the motorcyclist uses correct helmets. The term used “Correct Helmet” to be noted, which probably used with due consideration.  

To summarize the discussion under this section, we can come to a conclusion use of correct helmet reduce the risk significantly. There are many other area which needs to be looked upon, however using helmet is own choice. Hence to prevent resulting death or head injury from a road accident, we must educate to use of correct helmet. 

HEAD & HELMET: The Anatomy & Physiology
Motorcyclists’ uses different protective gears, helmet is most important. This safety equipment primarily down sizes the impact, resulting from a collision. (E.g.  Head injury or deaths) Studies further suggests helmet also having some role in reducing the possibilities of accidents too, which we will be discussing later in this section.
As we concluded in previous section, a correct helmet plays a significant role. We must be extra vigilant while selecting a helmet for our own safety. Isn’t it? Let us understand what helmet is? Before we move on to understand about helmet, lets 1st have brief explanation on the mechanism of head injury.

The Brian:
The Engineer who Design a Helmet Needs to be a Doctor First -: Ansh The MysticRider

One must understand the anatomy & physiology or head before developing a quality helmet. A technical expert before designing must needs to get answer to following vital questions. In case of collision what happens to the head? How the Internal & external parts of head reacts to an impact? And finally what possible result these impacts can produce?

To answer the above questions, it is important to know the anatomy of the head. This will leads to further understanding of the mechanism of possible injuries to head and brain.   
The Mystic Riders
Ø Have a look in the figure; our brain is surrounded by the rigid skull.
Ø The base of the skull bone, on which the brain park itself
Ø Dura, a dense connective tissue alongside bone surrounds the brain and through the hole below the spinal cord pass.
Ø  Cerebrospinal fluid present between the space of dura & brain to protect the brain from mechanical shock between. This sis the fluid on which the brain floats around with a maximum movement up to 1mm in any direction.
Ø  Finally at top scalp covered the skull to provide many additional protections  

What Exactly Happen inside Head?
In an event of collision or crash often the rider is thrown from the motorcycle. This may result in the head hitting an object or hard surface and all of a sudden the movement of head being blocked. However as the brain inside floats inside having its own speed and continues to move till hit the inside wall of skull. Further its rebounds to opposite side and hits the opposite wall of the skull. This violent shaking of brain results fatal injury or minor concussion. The above can happen through two principal mechanisms. 1. Contact or 2. Variation on speed which is also called as Acceleration-Deceleration. Which indicates there is not always an accident can cause internal head injury, but acceleration–­deceleration is also having a great potential of brain injury.  

The head injury caused by either contact or acceleration-deceleration are mainly divided in to two category Open or Closed. The most traumatic are closed head injury.

Protective helmet provides and additional layer of protection to the head in preventing injury resulting from contact or acceleration-deceleration. Riders exposed to a higher risk of sustaining traumatic brain injury who rides motorcycle without helmet. Let us understand how helmet work?

HELMET PROTECTS – How it works?
Primarily helmets are designed to reduce the impact of force or contact, thus protect the brain. A quality helmet must be capable of reducing the impact. It protects from head injury by working mainly in three way as follows.

Slowing down the movement of brain:
A quality helmet must incorporate with a soft material as shock-absorber to absorb impact. This helps the brain to reduce speed and stop slower, preventing it from hitting the wall of skull.  

Spreading of Force:
A quality helmet must have a capability of spreading the force to wider area, preventing the concentration of force at one area. This prevents hard shocks or contact and helps the brain to float smooth than hitting the wall.

As Physical Barrier:
The helmet at superficial level acts as strong physical barrier, which prevents a direct contact of skull & object.

A Good Helmet:
A helmet which can achieve above functions in combination can be characterized as good helmet. These functions can be achieved through four major components of a helmet. Now let’s find out how different components supplement and complement each other to achieve the above functions. There are four main components of a helmet works as combination to achieve above three safety functions in a helmet (Figure).

Components of a Standard Helmet
A strong rigid shell to absorb and distribution of force to large area. This further reduces the impact of force to reach head. No doubt the shell should be strong but at same time it must have the quality of compression if the collision happens with something very hard. The shell protects penetration of any high moving external objects. It also provides protections to internal padding of helmet itself from knocks arising out of daily use.

To summarize a good helmet must have a strong hard shell along with compression capabilities. The shell further should have a smooth finish at exterior to allow sliding on road surfaces.

The Liner to Absorb Impact:
A very important as well special soft, crushable padding made up with molding of polystyrene beads or polyurethane foam. Usually called as Styrofoam. When a helmet hits and object and stops and head still continue to move, this dense layer absorbs shocks. In an event of impact this foam usually compressed about 90% and also recovers a little afterwards. This mechanism increase the stopping distance which results in reduction of deceleration of head.

Comfort Padding:
The material which keeps the head comfortable inside helmet is a padding of soft foam and clothes. The technical aspect of this comfort padding is providing comforts as well keeps the head fitted.

The Retention System:
There is a possibility helmet may remove away from head in an event of crash or collision. To hold the helmet tight in comfort, the role of retention system comes in to picture. This is also called as chin strap. Straps are connected to both side of shell. It’s always advisable to tie the straps correctly to allow helmet performs its duty for which it is designed to.

Significance of Full-Face Helmet:
In addition to basic protective quality, a full-face helmet provides additional protections. These helmets contain addition chin bar. The outer surface of chin bar is made of same material as shell and attached with soft foam inside to protect face & jaw. This particularly protects fractures of facial bone and lower part of forehead.

While selecting a helmet we must keep above information in mind and make a correct choice of helmet for our own safety. The law in different country outlined standards of helmet incorporation the above objectives. In India Section 129 Motor Vehicles Act require a helmet must comply with standards outlined by Bureau of Indian Standards. IS: 4151 specifies the standard and minimum performance requirements. Helmet of motorcycle riders should riders should meet or exceed these standards specified under IS: 4151.

We now have a fair understanding about the magnitude of the problem and its solution. Without further delay we as human being prepare ourselves to save humanity by spreading awareness on helmet usage.  In our next article we will be discussing further about additional feature as well as how to select a safety helmet? How should we decide the helmet is meeting required standard? Is there a testing mechanism in place? What should be my role in making every rider wearing a helmet while riding motorcycle? Till then request all of you to be vigilant and let’s create a safe riding environment across country.  Yes, do not forget to share and comment with you valuable feedback under comment section.

In our next article we will also be discussing the followings:
ü Design of helmets: Testing & Validity
ü Information to keep in mind while selecting a correct helmet.
ü Prevailing laws and its impact
ü What drives people to be reluctant of using helmet?
ü What is my role as responsible citizen?

Wish this effort making some positive change and you will continue to understand the magnitude of this mechanical pandemic as well as help and support to create a safe environment around?

Works Cited
MoRTH. (2019, Sep). MoRTH. Retrieved April 18, 2020
WHO. (2020, Feb 7). Retrieved April 18, 2020

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