For many Hyderabadi riders who use their two-wheelers extensively for their daily commute, wearing a helmet is just another way of avoiding getting fined by the traffic police. This trend, rather overlooked, roughly translates into the bikers purchasing substandard helmets that are not harsh on their pockets.
The helmets that are either uncertified or carry fake Indian Standard Institute (ISI) safety standards certification, are available for low prices across the city. In fact, they are so easily available that one can find vendors selling them roadside. It can be noted that the price difference between the substandard helmets and branded ones is huge. While a helmet without any safety certification costs roughly around Rs 250 to Rs 400, the certified ones cost Rs 1,000 upwards.
By letting the price tag dictate the choice of helmets, motorcyclists are compromising on the very purpose of helmets’ existence – safety. With barely existing outer shells and paltry inner paddings, the cheaper helmets are pathetic at providing safety.Although the police and NGOs have done a good job in getting Hyderabadis accustomed to wearing helmets, a lot of motorcyclists seem to have gotten the message wrong by ignoring the most important safety factor.
“Any helmet is better than no helmet,” some motorists argue without realising that a substandard helmet cannot even survive the smallest of crashes. With the number of high-displacement motorcycles increasing on the roads, the need for better and stronger helmets is certainly more.Nirish Yadav, who owns a helmet store in Begumpet, says that customers who buy substandard helmets are the ones who do not believe in the idea of spending more than Rs 500. “Main concern is the budget and not safety, though we tell them that these aren’t of the best quality, some customers insist on purchasing these helmets.”
What to consider while buying
Any helmet, regardless of the brand, bearing “IS: 4151” on the backside of the head is a definite yes. These helmets are approved and deemed good standard by the Bureau of Indian Standards.Helmets bearing international safety certifications such as DOT, ECE, SNELL and Sharp are the best in the business and a lot safer than the ones certified by BIS.
Brands to look out for
Indian brands like Studds, Vega and Steelbird manufacture helmets providing great safety. Brands like LS2, Bell Sports, Arai Helmets and Nolan Helmets are the more stylish counterparts.