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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

If you are not wearing the right gear....Well you are not wearing anything

A couple days ago, I came to know that a very dear friend of mine met with an accident. When I saw the accident images of him, I was horrified to my bones to see the guy like that. Face swollen, one eye completely closed, cut marks all around.... I mean, I don't even want to imagine how he looked during that period. When I questioned about how that happened, I was told that his 100cc motorcycle slipped on an oil spill and he was not wearing a helmet. How silly and stupid one can get. One cannot stress enough on the importance of riding gear specially in a country like India, where the sense of traffic cannot be predicted by God even, and riding motorcycle is considered as a risky business.

Logic says, any two wheeler that can go beyond 40 kmph, can potentially kill you and you should always wear at least a good full face helmet on such two wheelers. But investing on your own protection on two wheelers is generally considered lunacy, while spending thousands on branded perfume makes much more sense - "Enhances your personality" so to speak... I mean come on!! One bad crash, and you won't be having much of a personality left to enhance.

A very graphic and creative step in this direction has been taken by Motorcycle Accident Commission (MAC), a Government of Australia undertaking. MAC has come up with a very graphic and intelligent TV Commercial that has been create by Resin, which very effectively depicts how dangerous a motorcycle crash can be to your body if you are not suited up properly.

The TVC shows a body painted stunt and the various injuries during a crash. Very intuitive I must say. Not only the video, the website provides valuable figures on riding gear and the dos and don'ts. For example, a simple stat like, a denim pant survives only 0.6 seconds during a crash and a leather pants survives 4 seconds does make up for a compelling figure enough for a rider, to think that all this time he has just been lucky riding with his denims on and making it safely to the destination.

I cannot emphasis on the importance of proper riding gear enough and more. Having learned things the hard, the real hard way, I surely realize how important having proper riding gear is. Forget what people say when they see you fully suited up, as in today's society there is a very thin line between wisdom and lunacy. It's your life which not only belongs to you, but also to your family. So, suite you properly when ever you ride.

Heartiest thanks to MAC from ThrottleQuest.com for bringing this wonderful site up.
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  1. Its surprising how casually we Indians take out life for granted. A helmet is the most basic of protection that's must.

    Even when going to the neably shop around the corner, a helmet should be there.

    Not just the right gear but it should be worn everytime we get astride on an unprotected environment like on a two wheeler.

  2. Oh by the way, thanks for the link to this wonderful site

  3. Absolutely man!! Even when going inside our closed society boundaries, you never know what's coming from a blind corner and on a bad day, speeds of even 15-20kmph can prove to be catastrophic!!

  4. The more we over-hype something the more likely we will encounter resistance from the mass. The very definition of "right gear" is vague even amongst experts and it depends on where you live and what you consider as a minimum. For instance, helmets come in different safety levels and many pros would recommend you to get the 5 star safety helmets, yet how many people have their heads smashed while wearing cheaper brands? Some say Jeans are not good enough and tear in less than a second, yet I am aware of many accidents where the Jeans actually held together nicely. You can even buy Jeans designed for motorbikes, with only a thermal liner as the difference to normal Jeans. And for some to suggest you have to be fully geared up even for a short ride it is simply unrealistic. What matters is what speed you are going to reach regardless if it is short or long trip. A 50km/h trip does not require full gear but a 100km/h in a rainy day does. To me, there are 4 general rules: 1- Always a helmet, 2-often a jacket, 3- never less than sports shoes, 4- At least Jeans unless you are at the beach ;-)

    1. Thanks Kiwi for coming by.

      Well, the spectrum of practicality and reality often intersect each other at quite awekward limits.

      I've had crashes in a light drizzle when I was at around 25-30 kmph and given that situation, I bike dragged around a good 10-15 feet, my head banged on the pavement (which cracked the so called STUDD helmet... could have been worse), the right leg guard almost melted to half due to friction, and the condition of my left elbow and knee... well let's not even talk about it.

      Basically the moral of the story is, given a bad time, if you have to kiss the tarmac, you will kiss the tarmac. The bike is under insurance and practically does not feel soule burning pain, but the rider does. So, it's the rider's choice :)

      In my personal opinion, anything that goes over 40 kmph, can very well kill you.... it's better to be safe than sorry :)

    2. Thanks Sajal for your reply. Your accident is a sad thing and I am truly sorry for what happened.

      I remember once a teacher told us that the most secure computer would be the one unplugged, i.e. useless. If people have to get fully geared-up to go for a ride to the dairy then they will simply not use the bike. Here in NZ, since they forced cyclists to wear helmet, their use has dropped dramatically yet the accidents rate hasn't, and since they doubled the registration of motorbikes, their use has dropped significantly yet the accident rates haven't. Riding a motorbike is a risky matter, and as I said, it depends on one's perception of what is admissible risk, but to FULLY associate riding a bike with a full gear is unproductive and extreme.



Item Reviewed: If you are not wearing the right gear....Well you are not wearing anything Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal
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