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Old 3rd December 2012, 14:11   #16
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Default Re: Helmets : Facts you must know about their efficacy

I went to NHTSA website, and found this

They have not listed any "disadvantages of helmets".

Then I went to their latest report

Quotes from the report
Using Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data from 1993 through 2002, this
report recalculates the “effectiveness ” of helmets in preventing fatalities in motorcycle
crashes. The resulting effectiveness of 37 percent represents a signi
ficant improvement
over the previous estimate of 29 percent obtained using data from 1982 through 1987.
The 37 percent effectiveness would mean that from 1993 through 2002 helmets saved
7,808 lives, a substantial increase compared with the estimate of 5,4
30 lives saved using
the old effectiveness measure
Another study dated
You have very conveniently taken data from figure
Figure 3
It shows that
"Fatalities(number) have increased in helmeted drivers over a period of time, but not increased by much in non helmeted drivers".

If you had cared to go down to Figure 4, you would have seen this

Number of Fatalaties among unrestrained vehicle passengers(seat belts) has gone down more as compared to restrained.

Now what do we conclude. "Seat belts take lives"????

Nice twist to a report which "actually advocates" helmet use.
All the tables show that the since Helmet use due to law is on an increase, you will see more fatal crashes where the rider is wearing a helmet.
If you want to twist that to "Wearing helmet will kill you...." well its your choice
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Old 3rd December 2012, 14:27   #17
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Default Re: Helmets : Facts you must know about their efficacy

The major keyword missing here is ATGATT.


We in India find this very impractical, since it involves very putting on the gear and taking it off at extremely frequent intervals. If we are only riding to the neighborhood grocery store, our usual train of thought is "Its just half a kilometer. What can possibly go wrong in that much? I would hardly ride over 25 km/h."

Sadly, the truth is "Possibly EVERYTHING". A speeding car could hit you, and even if you were at 5 km/h that can cause fatal injuries. I am in no way claiming that complete protective gear can make you immune to all sorts of injuries in motorbike accidents. It can, however, minimize the impact of injuries to the maximum possible extent.

Proper use of riding gear is a very uncommon thing in India at the moment, and I am aware of the fact that this is easier said than done. I myself do not use a lot of protective gear while riding, but that is because I don't have any yet. Will get some soon, hopefully.!
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Old 3rd December 2012, 18:03   #18
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Default Re: Helmets : Facts you must know about their efficacy

I did my own survey.

I contacted a number of friends of mine, all of whom have been riding motorcycles for 5 years or more. I don't ride a bike myself.

I asked them a question: do you wear a helmet?
100% of them said Yes

25% of them said they use other protective gear like gloves, kneepads etc. as well

My second question was: why?
100% of them said they knew someone who had been involved in some sort of accident where a helmet had saved them from certain injury, even death.

I guess that's all the stats I need.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 20:35   #19
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Default Re: Helmets : Facts you must know about their efficacy

Feel like the good Doctor's interpretations were misinterpreted.

The study does tell you a very important fact. NOT that usage of helmets is optional, but proper usage of all safety gear is more efficient in saving your body.

In the Indian context, the results of the study is more valid, because even though now a large percentage of two wheeler riders are wearing helmets fearing the law, majority are using the helmet wrongly. More than half are the wrong size, while the rest dont bother to buckle the straps. An accident, no matter the speed with an ill fitting helmet can cause more injury than good.

I dont think the OP ever mentioned not to use helmets, but just highlighting the fact that having any lid on your head is not good enough to save your life, and a wrong lid can in fact be more harmful.


Ride Safe.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 21:06   #20
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Default Re: Helmets : Facts you must know about their efficacy

Originally Posted by SS-Traveller;2979176

I think the "Take home message" would be: [B
Just a helmet doesn't make a rider invincible.[/b]

You can conclude the rest based on my signature!
True, the research findings as stated by Dr Mohan present one side of the coin. I remember reading this a few years back based on Indian inputs - this again related to neck and spine / whiplash injuries in the case of helmet-wearing bike riders who meet with accidents.
As already established, the skull houses some of the most delicate organs upon which our survival is dependent.
Helmets are a must to save head injuries all said and done. But as SS Traveller and Dr Mohan have pointed out, its not the helmet that can save us should we become rash and negligent riders. Its defensive driving, observance of traffic rules, keeping the bikes in ship-shape and always keeping a third eye to preempt for someone else's mistake /callousness and/ or rashness that can help us avoid accidents. The icing on the cake is a good quality helmet, which if worn properly, keeps the skull and everything within safe.
The US conditions are quite different. We have age statistics of riders there quoted by Dr Mohan. The engine capacity of the bikes are also stated.
Here in India, the most risk prone age group should be 18 -30 and so on. Our bikes right from 100 / 110 cc to 150 cc are risk prone and get involved in maximum numbers in bike accidents. Next come the 150 - 250 cc and so on.
Thats simple logic and simply because the 100/110 cc - 150 cc bikes sold, outnumber all other bike sales.
Then the 150 - 250 cc bike sales and their involvement in accidents come second.
The 250 cc plus bikes should be the safest in such a case in India,
as very few are sold, in comparison.
Coming to the 100/110 cc to 150 cc bikes, during my trips across rural India, I have found many of these bikes carrying families of five, friends/ relatives (?) totalling four passengers and so on @ speeds of upto 60 - 70 kmph. No one wears a helmet (very, very rare) in rural India. Some of them ride freely on the highways, trying to overtake trucks and cars, (most commonly the slow moving Tata Ace/ Ashok Leyland Dost and three wheelers are the targets) without observing traffic rules and many of them ultimately meet with tragic accidents.
The scenario in the cities and metros shows breaking of common traffic rules, doing wheelies, jumping signals,carrying excess passengers on the hapless two- wheelers, rash and negligent driving and so on, that we see every day. Its only providence that saves this class of riders.
A helmet is extremely necessary as a safety gear to save life !

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 3rd December 2012 at 21:20.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 22:01   #21
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Default Re: Helmets : Facts you must know about their efficacy

Originally Posted by gthang View Post
I dont think the OP ever mentioned not to use helmets, but just highlighting the fact that having any lid on your head is not good enough to save your life...
Absolutely correct. Somewhere along the way the whole thread has been misinterpreted by some as Dr. Mohan saying "wearing a helmet does not help save lives", which he definitely hasn't. However, the studies he quotes and the findings therein, are scientifically flawed IMO - a sample (dead riders involved in motorcycle crashes, helmeted or not), howsoever big in size, is useless without a set of controls (living motorcyclists, helmeted or not, involved in a crash) to interpret the results.

Longitudinal studies such as these cannot be really validated when there are too many variables - such as speed of crash, skill of rider, type of motorcycle and type of helmet, road conditions, size of object against which the crash occurred, etc.

Hence, in the end, conclusions drawn by the articles are subject to debate, as is happening on this thread.
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Old 4th December 2012, 00:52   #22
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Default Re: Helmets : Facts you must know about their efficacy

Accidents can happen anytime, be it your fault or someone's. But protective gear is meant to reduce it's impact and being wrapped in the hardest leather doesn't earn you a 100 percent safe spot. Wearing an ARAI or AGV doesn't ensure that your head will be safe when encountered with a fatal crash.Wearing just a helmet is not enough.Full protective gear must be put on while riding bikes, be it 100cc or 1000cc. Impracticality must be kept aside, safety comes first.

Last edited by junaid12345678 : 4th December 2012 at 00:56.
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Old 9th December 2012, 22:42   #23
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Default Re: Helmets : Facts you must know about their efficacy

The gist of the article has been caught very well :

It depends on MATERIAL and NON-MATERIAL factors involved .
The MATERIAL factors are a compulsory helmet AND extremity protection.

The NON-MATERIAL factor is a well inculcated BEHAVIORAL TRAIT which defines a rider by how steadfastly he observes traffic rules ,ethics ,restrain and how good he judges his capabilities as a rider.
His responsibility for those who wait for him at home is unmistakably paramount.

My sincere thanks to all the forum members for putting up their valuable inputs especially SS Traveller and Roy for putting it explicitly.
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