You have probably noticed the increasing number of motorcycles not only in the streets of Dhaka but also all over the country. In the hope of escaping the never ending traffic jam of Dhaka, people are turning towards motorcycles day by day. Nowadays, like Uber, some motorcycle sharing online based platforms have been introduced and they have become quite popular as well.
Besides the young generation is being more and more attracted to using motorcycles as the existing motorcycle companies are introducing astonishingly fascinating motorcycles every year. World leading motorcycle companies have also started to pay attention to the ever increasing market of motorcycle in Bangladesh. Some have also started manufacturing and assembling factories by now. Riding a motorcycle is like an addiction to someone. The feeling of freedom that a motorcycle offers is absolutely second to none.
There is a saying that, "Four wheels only move your body but two wheels move your soul". Among all these positive facts of motorcycles, there are some negative sides as well. With the increasing number of motorcycle, the numbers of motorcycle accidents are also going higher.
Though reckless driving is the leading cause of road accidents, most of the fatal injuries are suffered by two-wheeler riders only, no matter whose fault it is. Head injury is the main cause of most of the death caused by road accidents. So motorcycles riders need to take extra safety measures to protect themselves as they are more open to injuries if an accident takes place. There are a lot of safety gears to protect your whole body but the most important is to protect your head and that leads to the use of a good helmet.
The head and the brain are most vulnerable to injuries in case of a motorcycle accident. If the head is well protected, the possibility of surviving the accident becomes higher even if you suffer severe injuries. So if both the rider and the pillion (i.e. passenger) use a proper helmet, the chance of their surviving in case of an accident becomes much higher. Besides helmets, knee guard, elbow guard, full upper body armor, jackets with protective gears installed, racing boots, gloves etc. increase the chance of survival of a motorcycle rider and his pillion. Although you can never be 'accident-proof', but it is wiser to keep the safety level to it's peak.
In spite of all the facts above being obvious, you will see many people riding a motorcycle in our country without any helmet. Young riders tends to become 'Cool' by riding a motorcycle without a helmet which makes the young people more vulnerable to accidents.
This is because they do not have proper training, education, authentic license and above all, they are actually not old enough to ride a motorcycle. Rich parents - who let their under aged child to ride a motorcycle which in some cases are way too big for them to handle, should think hundred times before buying a motorcycle for their beloved child. Rider who use helmet themselves but do not have an extra one for their loved ones, should actually be ashamed for not caring about the passenger.
Government is very strict about the rules on road. Traffic Sergeants are working relentlessly to enforce the rules on road but yet many riders are still not being cautious. Government should pass a rule so that motorcycle sellers must include two helmets with every motorcycle they sell. This will definitely increase both the number of rider and passenger who regularly use helmets.
Now let's come to the fact of the quality of helmets in our country. An alarmingly high number of riders use helmets only to skip the eyes of the Traffic sergeants. As a result they use very low quality helmets which do not provide any kind of safety at all. The market of helmet must be supervised by the government and proper standards should be introduced. But most of all, one has to be conscious about his/her own life more than the government.
Riding without helmet is worse than smoking or drinking alcohol. Smoking or drinking will kill you slowly, but riding without a helmet may kill you instantly. Be logical, be conscious and ask yourself - What stops you from using a helmet?
The writer is an engineer by profession and writes for The Asian Age -------Reaz Ahmed
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