Why it is so important to wear a helmet while driving a two-wheeler? Can it guarantee that we will be safe when we meet with a road accident? The answer may be no but the people supporting the idea of wearing a helmet may say that it would save our head during an accident. The question I wanted to inquire is that if I wear a helmet while driving my bike, which I mostly do, upon meeting with an accident what if I lose my limbs or break my spine? And given the situation nothing happens to my head because I am wearing a helmet, I am saved from any brain injury. The question is now what? Would I like to survive a bed ridden life or live a life completely dependent on my family? I would say no. It would have been better if I had died during such an accident. What kind of quality of life it would be? I would have been better off meeting with the accident without wearing a helmet.
This scheme of wearing a helmet is a conspiracy of the general insurance firms who lobby and pressurize the government in making helmet compulsory so that when a person who dies in a road accident these insurance firms doesn’t have to pay them huge sums of money. So the thing is that this helmet policy is not for our welfare but to save money of the insurance firms and also increase the sale of helmet manufacturers.
What is funny in this is that recently the government has allowed no helmet policy for a person who drives a two wheeler within the limits of the Municipal Corporation of a district but one has to wear a helmet when they go in the jurisdiction which does not fall under Municipal Corporation of the district or on a highway or a road which leads to a highway. Why is this discrimination? Should I assume that while driving in a city if I meet with an accident I will not be injured or die?
Insurance companies sell their product like insurance on the basis of fear. They show that the future is full of accidents and we are sure on the probability scale to meet one. They have also made advertisements which show that what kind of threat we face when we go out driving on the road. Not only threat but they also make advertisement displaying the person wearing a helmet to be attractive to women. Such advertisements give rise to the gender discrimination in the society. The helmet policy discounts the pillion riders from wearing a helmet since it is not compulsory by the law. This policy is incomplete and a failure in order to appeal to our faculty of reason. We need to rethink over the policy of making helmet compulsory. Since most of our representatives in the Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies drive a four-wheeler they remain ignorant of the issues faced by people who drive two-wheelers.
Dr. Udayprakash Sharma, Assistant Professor, Unitedworld School of Liberal Arts and Mass Communication (USLM)
Disclaimer: The opinions / views expressed in this article are solely of the author in his / her individual capacity. They do not purport to reflect the opinions and/or views of the College and/or University or its members.