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View Poll Results: Does your partner belt up / wear a helmet willingly?
Yes 52 62.65%
No 17 20.48%
Sometimes 14 16.87%
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Old 22nd May 2014, 10:04   #1
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Angry Don't they love their partners? Pillion rider's safety?

This is my first thread since I became a BHPian yesterday, and I guess it is only fitting that it be on safety. I live in Mumbai and have been driving for more than a year now, and with all due respect to my fellow BHPians whose soul moves on two wheels, I have reached the conclusion that bikers in Mumbai don't care for their lives.

Having said that, there is one particular phenomenon that I observe all the time and which irks me no end. It goes something like this: A couple on a bike, the guy riding like a maniac wheeling in and out of traffic with the girl hanging on to him for dear life. Oh how thrilling and romantic!

This is not what irks me though. That is coming up next.

The guy is wearing a helmet and the girl, a dupatta wrapped around her head and face.

We all know that the pillion rider is at a greater risk in bike accidents. Anybody who rides a bike hopefully knows that too. And if you are safety-conscious enough to be wearing a helmet yourself, why can't you get one for your partner?

Don't you love your partner? If there is an accident in which she loses her life but you survive, will you be able to live with the guilt?

I know this is a rant. I also know that the average biker who indulges in such antics is hardly likely to be a Team BHPian. But I feel better having written this down and shared it with you.
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Old 22nd May 2014, 10:19   #2
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Default re: Don't they love their partners? Pillion rider's safety?

Hey LizardKing welcome to Team BHP.

This irritates me as well because when these dumb so called riders are on the road I dont feel safe. They are putting their life as well as that of others at risk.

Last week only I saw a so-called "ROSSI" on his HH Splendor riding like a maniac in peak traffic. When he went past me honking like crazy, I just stopped my bike for 2-3 seconds. And as I went a little ahead I saw this guy lying flat on the road and besides him was a brand new i10 (it was on TEMP plates) in which he had crashed. There doors of the i10 had a big dent and the poor owner was just helplessly looking at his prized possession ruined for no fault of his.
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Old 22nd May 2014, 10:22   #3
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Default re: Don't they love their partners? Pillion rider's safety?

My thoughts go in line with yours. There are some people who just ride like as if there is nothing around them and they are free to go as fast as they can and hop from one lane to another without even bothering about traffic. These are the most careless people on our roads. They ride fairly powerful bikes and most of the times the protection gear will be nil. In order to avoid fine they wear a helmet. Once outside city limits they dont even wear the helmet.

The pillion too will be unprotected. In such a bike where the pillion has lesser grip and support, they dont care about safety. To be frank, when I take a pillion on my dio, asking them to wear helmet is like asking rear passengers of a car to wear seatbelt. However, I stick to the left and be as slow as possible, just because be it my girlfriend or someone else, I am responsible for anything that happens. I confess I may be fast when I am riding alone, but when there is a person behind me, I never attempt any dramas on the road.

In the event of a small bump too, the pillion will be thrown off the bike easily compared to the rider since he will be seated in a much more firm position with better grip and anchorage. I met such a pair near my native once who initially overtook me a few kms before my native and had later stopped for tea in my native itself. Having the local advantage, I blasted them left and right. They were medical students who bunked college and went out for a long ride. Their clothing also was the most unsafe. If future docs only act like this, then I am not sure whats in the box for others.
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Old 22nd May 2014, 10:29   #4
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Default re: Don't they love their partners? Pillion rider's safety?

Very valid point in my opinion. And your observation and the followed argument kinda nails it perfectly. Two wheelers are already at high risk on the roads, esp. compared to the 4 wheeled counterpart, so, proper safety measures should be in place while riding one. Proper helmets for both the rider & pillion is necessary.

On the other hand, I know of ladies/ girls who avoid putting on a helmet because it will either not 'look' cool and it will ruin their hairstyle. Most girls riding on their scooty have only their dupatta wrapped around their heads & faces for 'protection'...probably from the sun!

Honestly, when my wife refused to put on a helmet, I refused to move with her on my bike. Thankfully, I have a car for such situations, else, IMO, one is better at home. That can be rude, but safe. At least, she is now almost okay putting on the seat belts by now!


Edit: Just recalled a horrific story which my cousin brother narrated to me which he witnessed in Pune. My brother was riding his bike and there was a bike in front of him with a pillion & rider, both without helmets. Suddenly, somehow the pillion on the other bike swayed and fell from the moving bike. He was no more. What was horrific was that his head actually had split open, displaying the internals.
This may be not upto the forum's taste, and mods may please delete this post if it sounds too gory, but this was my brother's version.

Last edited by saket77 : 22nd May 2014 at 10:38.
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Old 22nd May 2014, 10:31   #5
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Default re: Don't they love their partners? Pillion rider's safety?

Yes they do love there parents. But the reasons for these negligence are lack of safety awarness. The few most common thouughts-

1) Every one thinks nothing will happen to him.

2) He thinks he is the best skilled rider out on the road rest are inferior to him.

3) He is the hero or role model to his wife or girl friend.

4)His immatured girl friend /wife compares her rider to John Abhraham who dodges his bike out like a hero with out any protective gears. ( Like in dhoom 1 doing 300km/hr with out helmet!)

5) These film directors will write smoking is injurious to health when the hero smokes, but they never write riding in a unsafe way can kill you when the hero is showing such stunts.

6)The college going kids has to impress the girls by doing such stupid things and uploading it in facebook will grab him more attention from the fairer sex.

7) The elderly uncle who is coming from office has to come back early and teach his son/daughter or do his house hold activity. So he tries to reach home fast. He wont think in the way 'better late than ever'.

8) Most of the people riding are of average intelligence level and they do not know there limits. While buying a bike they will ask for the features and all but while buying a helmet they will say get me the cheapest one!

9)Many girls think wearing helmet will ruin there long hair or they will feel hot or its heavy so they will have neck pain etc etc, hence they avoid wearing helmets. They wont understand the basis funda that if the head exists hair can grow and the other problems can be resolved too!!

10)They do not follow Team bhp neither do they go through the thread 'Accident pics of India'!.

Last edited by Samba : 22nd May 2014 at 10:41.
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Old 22nd May 2014, 10:32   #6
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Default re: Don't they love their partners? Pillion rider's safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
They ride fairly powerful bikes and most of the times the protection gear will be nil.
Yes and I shudder when I think about how the bikes on Indian roads are only getting more powerful and faster. To borrow from Spiderman, no one seems to realize that "With great power comes greater responsibility"...

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
At least, she is now almost okay putting on the seat belts by now!
This is another thing that surprises me no end. Women are generally more "careful" than men (I know it is a very general statement, but you get the drift).

Even my mother-in-law makes a huge fuss about wearing the seatbelt because according to her she feels constrained and uncomfortable. I wish I could tell her that being "constrained and uncomfortable" is vastly preferable to going through the windshield and... :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
This may be not in the forum's taste, and mods may please delete this post if it sounds too gory, but this was my brother's version.
Gory is good sometimes. The same reason why cigarette packets now carry pictures of blackened lungs. They should come up with a similar initiative for bikers too...

Last edited by TheLizardKing : 22nd May 2014 at 10:41. Reason: To avoid back to back postings
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Old 22nd May 2014, 10:43   #7
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Default re: Don't they love their partners? Pillion rider's safety?

I have a solution to suggest. Make it compulsory and mandatory for anybody seeking a driving license to spend one day in the intensive care unit of a major trauma hospital observing what happens. I am willing to bet that nobody will ride without a helmet after that.

I spent a fair amount of time in the neurosurgery ward as a caregiver for a relative there (nothing to do with roads or automobiles). 90% of those who were admitted were bike riders without helmets in accidents. The scenes I saw have scarred me for life.
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Old 22nd May 2014, 10:47   #8
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Default re: Don't they love their partners? Pillion rider's safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLizardKing View Post
This is another thing that surprises me no end. Women are generally more "careful" than men (I know it is a very general statement, but you get the drift).

Even my mother-in-law makes a huge fuss about wearing the seatbelt because according to her she feels constrained and uncomfortable. I wish I could tell her that being "constrained and uncomfortable" is vastly preferable to going through the windshield and... :(
She will always put on the seat belts while on the highway drives, but it took me a while to convince her to put it on in the city too. I just gave her an example which I read on TBHP - 'Seat belts saved my life' thread. I just told her that since every action has an opposite reaction, then just imagine that a crash at even 20KMPH is like running and banging against the windshield at 20KMPH. Although, it is a little exaggerated, but not too far from reality.
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Old 22nd May 2014, 11:02   #9
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Default re: Don't they love their partners? Pillion rider's safety?

We all know that most people wear helmets because its required by law. They dont wear it for safety reasons and hence they dont think about their partners wearing them.
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Old 22nd May 2014, 11:56   #10
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Default re: Don't they love their partners? Pillion rider's safety?

I have been in India for about a year and a half and this behavior of partners not wearing any protection baffled me on the first day and still does.

So here is a little outside in view from a foreigner on this whole biking thing (and a few other observations on Delhi traffic too)

Enjoy
http://www.india.jeroendorrestein.co...i_traffic.html

Jeroen
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Old 22nd May 2014, 12:25   #11
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Default re: Don't they love their partners? Pillion rider's safety?

The first weekend after I got married, me and my wife went to JC road and against all her wishes, we bought her a helmet.
Its still lying there in the house like a showpiece. I used to tell her, now we have anyway bought it, why dont you wear it and atleast make sure that the money we spent is not wasted. Her reasoning, my hair will get spoilt. I show her my head and tell her, I have been wearing a helmet almost everyday for at least 1 hour every day, since last 10 years and it dosent seem to cause any damage to my hair..why will your hair get damaged? However, if by chance we meet with an accident and we fall, chances of your face getting damaged are more.

Since the day we have bought the car, I always wear the seat belt first and then start the car. I have pleaded my wife multiple times to wear the seat belt. Even told her that if caught we will be fined Rs 2000, but every single time her excuse is either "I forgot" or "You drive slow and nothing will happen" or "My dress will get wrinkled".
I tell her wrinkled dress is any day better than broken windshield and fractured head.

In either case what follows is a long string of curses and a big silent treatment. So I stopped.

I think the thought that goes in her mind is
a. Accidents cant happen to us because every time we start from home I say a silent prayer.
b. If we drive slow we will not meet with accident.

After a certain point in time, I have started realizing, no one can tell you the value of your life. Its your life, you decide how safe you want it to be.

Regards,
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Old 22nd May 2014, 12:33   #12
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Default re: Don't they love their partners? Pillion rider's safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
So here is a little outside in view from a foreigner on this whole biking thing (and a few other observations on Delhi traffic too)

Enjoy
http://www.india.jeroendorrestein.co...i_traffic.html

Jeroen
Really liked your blog and pictures (as well as observations ). Couldn't have summed up the traffic situation and road manners (or lack of) any better. I see a long road ahead (pun intended) for this to improve, if at all, in India.
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Old 22nd May 2014, 12:33   #13
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Default re: Don't they love their partners? Pillion rider's safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLizardKing View Post
I guess it is only fitting that it be on safety. I live in Mumbai and have been driving for more than a year now, and with all due respect to my fellow BHPians whose soul moves on two wheels, I have reached the conclusion that bikers in Mumbai don't care for their lives.

there is one particular phenomenon that I observe all the time and which irks me no end. It goes something like this: A couple on a bike, the guy riding like a maniac wheeling in and out of traffic with the girl hanging on to him for dear life.

The guy is wearing a helmet and the girl, a dupatta wrapped around her head and face.

We all know that the pillion rider is at a greater risk in bike accidents. Anybody who rides a bike hopefully knows that too. And if you are safety-conscious enough to be wearing a helmet yourself, why can't you get one for your partner?

Don't you love your partner? If there is an accident in which she loses her life but you survive, will you be able to live with the guilt?

I feel better having written this down and shared it with you.
Very well thought idea and thanks for bringing it to us. This type of unethical driving is totally unacceptable and it's not just confined to Mumbai, I have seen such errant riders in Delhi too specially at India Gate circle and Connaught place among other areas.

Such riders feel that girls are attracted to "stunt bikers" and doing such unsafe stuff would help them but it is totally worthless to risk your and your partner's life for a temporary moment of thrill.

I would sincerely advocate your idea of pillion rider wearing a helmet but the girls/ ladies oppose it on the pretext of their hairstyle damage.

Thanks.

OT: A perfect start for you on the forum. God Bless!!
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Old 22nd May 2014, 12:34   #14
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Default re: Don't they love their partners? Pillion rider's safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
So here is a little outside in view from a foreigner on this whole biking thing (and a few other observations on Delhi traffic too)
@Jeroen - You are hereby charged with causing bodily harm to a fellow BHPian. I have laughed so much over your post and especially the Indian Highway Code that my sides are acutely aching
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Old 22nd May 2014, 12:52   #15
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Default re: Don't they love their partners? Pillion rider's safety?

I am really glad I started this thread. I was initially apprehensive that it would come out like a rant and not receive any attention...

For the sake of our loved ones, we really need to make them take the necessary safety measures (seat belt, helmet, etc.) even if it means a fight. I mean c'mon we have huge fights for the most trivial reasons. I would say this is a cause worth fighting for.

If our co-passenger is not wearing the seat belt/helmet out of ignorance, it is our responsibility to educate them. If logical reasoning doesn't help, put your foot down. A little heartburn is a small price to pay when lives are at stake.

In my mother-in-law's case, I bug the hell out of her till she gives a tired sigh and wears the seat belt. That is when my father-in-law is driving. I have already told her that when I am driving, I won't turn the key in the ignition till she wears the seat belt. And I intend to do so too if it comes to that.

One last point. What about the passengers in the rear seat? I bet less than 5% of rear seat passengers belt up. The safety department of my company recently shared an incident with us when a car carrying four employees overturned and no one got injured simply because all were belted up as required by our company's safety policy.

I guess we all need a safety policy at home too. Well-defined and non-negotiable.

PS: I don't ride two wheelers so am focussing on four wheelers.
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