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Importance of helmets: Why should safety always come first?

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

Riding a bike can be thrilling and enjoyable, but it also comes with a high risk of injury or death in case of a mishap. One of the most vital ways to protect yourself while riding a two-wheeler is wearing a helmet. In this article, we will highlight the importance of helmets, the different types available, their safety ratings and regulations.




Importance of wearing a helmet while riding a two-wheeler

One of the most important safety measures a rider can take is wearing a helmet. They are designed to reduce adverse injuries and sometimes even the possibility of an accident. In India, with the high number of two-wheelers on the road, the importance of wearing a helmet has increased drastically.

Here are some key points to consider regarding the importance of helmets.

  • Helmets can reduce the risk of serious head or brain injury.

  • They can also reduce the risk of serious injury to the face and neck.

  • In India, it is mandatory for all bike and scooter riders and pillion riders to wear a helmet. However, this may vary from state to state.

  • Choosing the right helmet that fits properly and is comfortable is vital.

  • Always wear ISI (Indian Standard Institute) certified helmets.

Advantages of wearing a helmet

Wearing a helmet while riding a two-wheeler has several benefits that can help riders be safe in the event of an accident. Here are some of the advantages of wearing a helmet.

  • Protection to the head and brain: The primary function of a helmet is to protect the rider's head and brain from injury in case of a mishap. It absorbs the impact of a collision and reduces the risk of adverse injuries.

  • Protection to the face and neck: Helmets can also protect the rider’s face and neck to a large extent, decreasing the risk of serious injuries.

  • Improves visibility: Full-face helmets and most half-face helmets are equipped with a visor that can help the rider’s visibility by reducing the glare and protecting the rider from dust, wind and other debris.

  • Improves ventilation: Most helmets are manufactured with a ventilation system, enabling the rider to breathe comfortably and keep cool, even in hot weather conditions.

  • Legal requirement: According to The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, it is mandatory for all two-wheeler riders to wear a helmet. Failure to comply with the law will result in traffic penalties of up to Rs. 1,000 and/or Driving Licence (DL) disqualification for up to 3 months.

  • Increased rider confidence: Wearing a helmet offers the rider a sense of confidence and security, resulting in an enjoyable ride.

How to choose the right helmet

Choosing the right helmet can be challenging, but it is essential to ensure that it provides adequate protection and comfort for the rider. Here are some tips to consider while buying a helmet.

1. Type of helmet

There are different types of helmets, including full-face, half-face, and open-face. Full-face helmets offer protection to the face, but they can be heavy and hot to wear for some riders. Open and half-face helmets are comfortable and offer better ventilation; however, they do not provide enough protection as full-face helmets. 

2. Fit and size

A loose or tight helmet can be uncomfortable and not provide the required protection during a collision. Ensure you try on the helmet, and check if it fits snugly and comfortably on the head. It should never move around when you shake your head.

3. Safety standards

Always choose a helmet that meets the required safety standards set by the government. In India, it is compulsory to wear a helmet certified by the ISI.

4. Visibility

Choose a helmet that has enough visibility. Typically, helmets with visors or a face shield help improve visibility by reducing the impact of wind, dust and other debris.

5. Ventilation

Consider a helmet that offers optimum ventilation in weather conditions where you ride your bike. Ensure the helmet provides adequate ventilation to keep you cool and comfortable.

6. Weight

A lightweight helmet that meets the required safety standards is typically comfortable, especially during long journeys, and does not cause neck pain.

7. Design and style

There are various types of designs and styles of helmets in India. Select the one that matches your style and preference.

8. Cost

Helmets come in different styles, resulting in different pricing. Consider the budget while you make the purchase decision. 

Helmet safety ratings

Helmet safety ratings are ways to measure the level of protection it offers in the event of a collision. Government-authorised agencies or industry organisations determine these ratings through crash tests. These tests help understand the helmet’s ability to withstand a collision or an impact and protect the rider’s head and brain.

In India, the Indian Standard Institute (ISI), currently the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), is responsible for certifying the safety of helmets. Helmets with ISI labels ensure that the helmet meets safety standards set by the government.

Other well-established organisations certify the safety standards of helmets worldwide, including the European Commission for Europe (ECE) and the Department of Transport (DOT) of the U.S.A. You can read more about helmet safety ratings here.

Also, read: Helmet safety ratings

Busting common myths about helmets

Despite the importance of helmets in protecting the rider from adverse injuries, there are still several misconceptions about helmets. Here are some myths about helmet safety.

1. Helmets are uncomfortable

This is false. Modern helmets, certified by government-authorised agencies, are designed with comfort in mind and are made of lightweight materials. Hence, it reduces the weight and heat buildup. Most helmets come with enough ventilation systems that help keep the rider’s head cool.

2. Helmets may not provide adequate protection

Some riders believe that helmets may not provide enough protection in case of a collision. However, that's not the case. They are designed to absorb the impact of a crash and lessen the risk of severe injuries to the head and brain. They also protect the rider's face and neck, improve their visibility, and protect them against wind and dust.

3. Helmets are not required for short rides

Some riders believe helmets are only required while riding at high speeds. But that is not the case. Accidents can happen anywhere, at any time, and at any speed. Wearing a helmet will protect the rider’s head and brain in case of a mishap.

4. Helmets can cause injuries to the neck

Some riders believe that helmets can cause injuries to their neck in the event of a collision because of their weight and pressure. However, helmets are designed to protect the rider’s face and neck in case of a mishap.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are the answers to some of the common questions about the importance of helmets.


How effective are helmets in preventing head injuries?

Helmets are designed to absorb the impact in the event of a collision and reduce the risk of adverse injuries to the head and brain.

Will my bike insurance claim be rejected for not wearing a helmet?

Yes, your claim shall be rejected for riding negligently.

How do I know if a helmet is safe?

A helmet that adheres to the safety standard set by the BIS is labelled with an ISI mark, emphasising the helmet's safety standards.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on industry experience and several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes. Please go through the applicable policy wordings for updated ACKO-centric content, and before making any insurance-related decisions.


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