Road accidents are some of the biggest concerns of every nation around the world. It accounts for the leading cause of deaths. Every year, over 1 million people die from road accidents and millions more suffer from injuries. People living in densely populated countries employ two wheelers as a transportation medium. People driving two wheelers like bikes have a higher chance of involving in an accident and suffering serious injuries. There are many factors associated with accidents about the two-wheelers. Firstly, they share the same roads that heavy vehicles like cars and truck uses. Cars and trucks are heavier and run at a higher speed than motorcycles. A single hit from such vehicles can cause an immense amount of injuries to the body. Motorcycle riders also have less protection to their body, which makes them highly susceptible to injuries on account of an accident.
Looking at the road accidents, the biggest cause of deaths are due to the head injuries. While, head is protected by the skull, a severe trauma to the head can internally damage the brain and even leads to hemorrhage. More than 50% of fatalities in road accidents are registered to have been caused by head injuries. The rise in the use of motorcycles as efficient transportation also increases the risk of accidents. To reduce the cases of injuries, some protection to the head is required. Helmets are the best alternative in protecting the head from such incidents. Helmets can be seen almost everywhere. It is also prevalent in many sports like cricket, cycling, etc. So, a question does arise in the mind that.
How Helmets Protect Riders during Motorcycle Accidents?
To understand the efficacy of the helmets, one must understand the design of the helmet. Helmets are intended to provide an extra layer of protection to the skull. Its hard shell makes it an ideal gear to reduce the chance of suffering brain injuries. The mechanism behind the helmets works on restricting the force with which the head collides with the object, hence acting as a barrier.
Most of the helmets are designed bearing the four components in mind
- The outer layer or the shell is made from heavy duty material like polycarbonate or polystyrene. It absorbs the impact and distributes the force over the entire area, leading to less force on the head.
- The next layer of the head, interior to the head is made from the polystyrene, which is known as the shock absorber. It is a soft and brittle material that acts as a cushion for any incoming force.
- The inmost layer of the helmet made from soft foam, covered by the cloth layer. It works on providing comfort to the head and also keeps the head intact.
- The straps at the bottom that goes around the face are known to maintain the helmet from falling during the accident.
Helmet designs are followed based on the above principles. The materials used in the helmets may vary on the account of its price. The standard nomenclature and laws dictate certain guidelines that every helmet should employ to provide necessary protection to the head. Different types of helmets are also utilized based on the weather conditions and type of requirements.
- Full Face Helmets are the most suitable ones for providing complete protection around the head. It helps in impact protection and facial protection. The encasing envelopes the entire face and run it through the jaw line. A plastic glass installed for vision.
- Half Helmets offers more flexibility to the users but also provide less protection. Such kind of helmets does not have any protection in the chin area. The surface area of the helmet runs through the head and on the sides, not in the front and lower side of the face. It is not an ideal gear for motorcycle users.
- Tropical helmets are often seen in hot countries, where hot weather conditions make it unbearable to wear full face helmets. These helmets provide better ventilation but offer minimal protection to the head.
Several governments of the world have already passed a law to make it mandatory for the two wheelers to wear a helmet which can reduce the chances of head injuries and deaths. While it is not a guaranteed gear to provide an all-round protection to head, it is certainly the one that can reduce the mortality rates occurred from accidents.