The turtle has it, the crab has it too and so does the grass hopper. Wondering what we’re talking about? Well even the minutest of creatures know the importance of their helmet but we humans, even after visiting the moon and back haven’t learnt the importance of it.
The cops will penalize us for not wearing it, we ‘technically’ can’t fill fuel without it and even Iron Man wears one! Yet we find a way to somehow not wear the dreaded helmet!
Well, if there’s still some of us out there who feel they’re too cool for helmets then here are some real life stories of actual cases of near-death accidents with the victims surviving only because of proper helmet and riding gear!
Yes, we’re talking about souls who walk today because they were smart to invest in safety over style.
I crashed on my Yamaha R15 near EM Bypass Fortis hospital at around 80 kmph because of a jaywalker who sprang in front of me. Fortunately I had my DSG riding jacket on, my Spartan riding gloves and SOL full helmet. I got bruises on my knee as I was not wearing riding pants, but no injury on my body except a fracture on my wrist (which cannot be saved, no matter what gloves you wear)
My riding gears have saved me big time. I was riding on the Sealdah flyover and had my HJC helmet and gloves on. A TATA 407 rear tyre knocked me off and all I know is that within a few seconds I was under an ambassador’s front bumper. My HJC took a great impact. Nothing happened to my head. I got scratches on my knees elbow hand got slight bruises due to gloves.
Abhishek Banerjee & Mousumi J (WER3):
An unfortunate incident occurred with my wife and me during our SIkkim Trip back in 2015 on our Yamaha R15v2. We had a crash on the way to RavangLa from Pelling. The phase of dawn and dusk are the ones to be very cautious on especially on off roads and bends. It was getting dark and on one such steep uphill corner the bike started pulling back. Due to the weight and the steep rough surface the bike tilted towards the edge nearing the abyss and within seconds we were on the ground. Both of us were fully geared up. I was wearing my KYT Helmet, Rynox Tornado Jacket, Zeus gloves, knee-guards and boots. My wife in her SOL Helmet, Solace Jacket, gloves, knee-guards and her boots. Thankfully, the injury was minimal. Mou hit her head on the ground and thanks to the helmet, she was not hurt. The bike had fallen on her and her leg was stuck. The riding boots saved her ankle from getting twisted, yet she had minor bruises. We never compromise on our safety and that day we surely understood the utility of investing on riding gears
The couple are avid tourers on their Yamaha R3 and make fun-loving vlogs
Abhisek Toto Lahiri & Subhankar Chakraborty:
Abhisek: Just a few months ago Pushan da and I were travelling to North Bengal. On the way in Nh34 around 2 AM I suddenly noticed him crashing and made a panic braking attempt (front brake only). As a result, I skidded and rolled down from right lane till almost the left lane.
My speed was around 85 km/hr at that time, but just for my gears nothing happened.
Pushan Subhankar Chakraborty: Riding gears and the raincoat saved us.
Before the incident we had to encounter heavy rains and some of the worst road surface in pitch dark; nothing happened then. After getting onto better roads, we started to make up the time lost.
Everything was smooth. But suddenly I felt my front wheel lock up, making my bike to jump. The fall happened, but somehow I managed to let my bike go without me. I summersaulted on the road around 5 to 6 times with several hits on the helmet.
But nothing happened to us except muscle pull and some minor bruise.
Time was around 3am and place was near Umarpur (Jangipur), Murshidabad; NH34.
Sakshar Ray Chaudhuri:
I’m not really an avid rider, but I was saved during a crash in Mumbai on an unfortunate morning. My bike skidded on the road for around 100 meters. I was wearing full riding gears which helped me escape scratch-less.
I have had another fall in 2014 near Munsiyari, but this time with a pillion. Thankfully, again both of us were wearing full gear, and we escaped scratch-less.
Samik Jonak Ghosh:
I have been fortunate enough to have survived three motorcycle crashes only because of riding gears. When on two-wheels, I’ve always worn full riding gloves, armoured jackets, knee guards and helmet (that best I could afford – last one was a HJC RPHA 10, one of the safest helmets money can buy)
Sudipto Chowdhury & Priyanka De:
My riding gear saved me in a pretty unusual way. My wife and I were on our trip to Gurudongmar Lake and on our way back at Lachen we had stopped by to for lunch. I had climbed a fleet of stairs to check the menu at a restaurant and on my way down, as my shoes were still wet and slippery from all the mud and slush, I tripped and slid down the fleet of stairs. Luckily for me as I was still wearing my complete riding gear I was saved from the impact. I’m sure I would have fractured my hand at the least otherwise!
I have always invested in good quality safety equipment and have advised all to do the same too. I remember when I was riding back from Munnar, I had a head on collision with a car being driven by a bunch of young who didn’t take a proper turn. I was armoured with all my safety gear and helmet and that is the reason I escaped scratch-less. The impact took a toll on my bike, breaking the front forks. But, within 2 hours, we got the forks replaced and we were back on the road.
My situation was a little different. Mine is a case of suffering for not investing in good quality safety equipment, as a result of which during a trip my bike skidded to the left and my right knee ligament tore off.
While this is the story of a handful fortunate ones, there are lakhs who will still shy away from even a basic helmet, let alone any protective gear.
B.P Roadies, the premium biking accessory and helmet shop in Kolkata urges all bikers to make the right investment- Safety over style!
Also, we asked some bikers if they would still wear helmets had it not been compulsory or if they wouldn't be fined for not wearing it. Here's what we got!