LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2019 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 291-292
Poor awareness of role of helmet in preventing the head injury
Bindu Menon, Salini Pasupuleti
Department of Neurology, Apollo Speciality Hospitals, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India
|Date of Submission||21-May-2019|
|Date of Acceptance||26-Aug-2019|
|Date of Web Publication||20-Sep-2019|
Prof. Bindu Menon
Apollo Speciality Hospitals, Nellore - 524 002, Andhra Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Menon B, Pasupuleti S. Poor awareness of role of helmet in preventing the head injury. Indian J Community Med 2019;44:291-2
India has witnessed an increase of road traffic accidents by 43% over the past 10 years. The most vulnerable age group is the 30–59 years' group. India's share in the road traffic fatalities in the world is very high predominantly from the two-wheeler vehicles. It has been estimated that the total number of road traffic deaths in India is likely to surpass 250,000 by 2025, which requires for urgent measures and rules in place. Motorized two- or three-wheelers are a significant cause of preventable death, predominantly in men of productive age. Of the several road safeties, helmet use during accidents has been shown to have better outcomes.,
We conducted a study on 500 patients/caregivers who attended our hospital outpatient services using two-wheeler, to see the reason for not using a helmet while driving two-wheelers. Male: female ratio was 3:1. The average age was 35±6 years. More than half (54%) felt that helmets were not essential. Forty-seven percent did not even own a helmet. Of the 53% who owned helmet, only 22% were using it. However, only 5% were regular users others used it only while traveling in highways. Seventy-one percent had been fined for not using helmets. Sixty-one percent reported having a vehicular accident while driving two-wheeler during the past 1 year. The details of the accident were not enquired. Reasons given for not wearing the helmet are shown in [Table 1]. Patients quoted more than one reason.
Our study showed that patients had several reasons for not using helmets. Although 50% of the patients owned a helmet, only 5% were regular users. Although around 70% had been fined for not using helmets and 61% had an accident earlier, still they preferred not to wear the helmet.
We found that the reasons for not using the helmets were very insignificant and several. Thirty-three percent felt that helmets are not required for their short journeys. Indian Ministry of Road Transport reported fatalities due to other roads as 37.1% and state highways as 26.9%, while national highways accounted for 36.0%. It was surprising that although 97% felt that helmets are protective, they did not wear and expressed several reasons, which were trivial as depicted in [Table 1]. In fact, a study also stated that the correct wearing of best available helmets improves survival by 42% and reduces injuries by 69%. Our study highlights the poor awareness among the public about the importance of using helmets for two-wheeler driving. It is imperative that the government enforces traffic rule and the public follow those rules and good road safety practices among the community to avoid this emerging public health problem.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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