A survey conducted by Exide Life Insurance has found out that over half of Indian two-wheeler riders (57%) and about 74% of pillion riders do not wear a helmet when on the road. Interestingly, nearly a third (29%) of riders are not using the helmet as it is ‘discomfort’. As many as 16% believe that helmets are not required to by the law, 22% simply ride bare-headed due to a force of habit and 13% avoid it as it is costly.
“About 23% of respondents believe that the pillion rider actually faces less risk than the rider of the two-wheeler. Nearly a quarter (23%) of riders would allow a pillion rider without a helmet, and an equal proportion of pillion riders (24%) admit that they would accept a helmetless lift. Two -wheelers remain one of the most unsafe modes of transport, wearing an appropriate helmet improves riders’ chances of surviving an accident by 42% and helps avoid up to 69% of injuries to riders,” the survey said.
“Helmets work for two-wheelers riders. But, more than 70% of Indians admit having ridden a bike as a rider without wearing a helmet. Nearly a quarter (24%) of parents would allow their children to ride a two-wheeler helmetless, and a half see such child pillions riding unprotected at least once a day,” said Mohit Goel, Director – Marketing and Direct Channel, Exide Life Insurance.
Accident deaths in India have witnessed an upward trend with an increase of 44.2% in 2011 as compared to 2001. In other words, one death on Indian roads happens in every five minutes and is expected to increase to one death every three minutes by 2020.