Injuries associated with road traffic are the leading causes of deaths globally. According to the World Health Organization (2015), more than 1.2 million people die each year from road traffic related injuries. A significant percentage of these deaths and injuries resulting from crashes and other accidents involving motorcycles and bicycles. With the trend where the use of cycles is on the rise, this situation is expected to become severe. As such, making helmets a mandatory requirement for all motorcyclists and bicyclists will significantly reduce the severity of injuries, casualties due to cycle accidents, and the number of accidents themselves.[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
The global trend is that the use of cycles is on the rise, an aspect that implies that there will be more bicycles, motorcycles, and velocipedes on the roads. An increased number of cycles on the roads will consequently intensify the chances of accidents, bearing in mind that the number of cars and pedestrians on the same roads is also high. Brandt, Ahrns, Corpron, Franklin, and Wahl (2002) confirm that the use of helmets by motorists and bicyclists would reduce the number of accidents on the roads because car users and pedestrians would be able to see the cycle users. In most cases, accidents involving motorcycles and bicycles occur since they are not properly visible to drivers and pedestrians, especially at dawn and dusk. A helmet, whether brightly colored or not, would make them more visible thus reducing the probability of an accident occurring. Brandt et al. (2002) suggest that helmets with reflective strips would be the most effective. Enhanced visibility of bikers would thus lower the number of accidents and casualties recorded annually. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
Similarly, the mandatory use of helmets by cyclists has the advantage of lessening the severity of injuries obtained by cycle users after crashes. A helmet acts as physical protection for the cycle user. It prevents or reduces the severity of head impact in the event of an accident (Brandt et al., 2002). Having a helmet on can stand between life and death during an accident. A decrease in the severity of head injuries will, in turn, cut down healthcare costs and expenditure for the government, insurance companies, and individuals.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
Additionally, helmets can safeguard bikers from extreme weather conditions which do not only increase the risk of accidents happening but also can cause harm and other health complications (Gleave, 2012). A good example is in the case when a long distance cyclist encounters an unexpected storm. There is the danger of serious body injury from strong wind, dust, and debris from the storm. The wind also fuels chances of a crash with oncoming traffic due to reduced visibility in case the cyclist lacks a helmet. A helmet also shields the cyclist from other hazards such as extreme sun, cold, and rain.
Making helmets mandatory for cycle users sets a good example for kids. By wearing helmets, adults set a good example for the young generation on the need to be visible and safe on the road. Such a move is vital bearing in mind that children and teenagers are the most victims of accidents on the roads. It is also an appropriate approach through which adults and authorities can counter the reluctance of the younger generation to wear helmets. Most teens are unwilling to wear helmets because helmets look “uncool” and at times feel uncomfortable. This is one of the reasons for the continued decline in the use of helmets in the state of Florida (Turner & Hagelin, 2004). When adults lead by example and wear helmets, teens and young children will see a reason to do so. If the adults fail to do so, children will not understand the importance and value of wearing helmets.
Making helmets mandatory for cycle users benefits the government by creating an additional source of revenue. Most road safety regulations carry a penalty with them for nonadherence. The government can use the fines collected from the tickets issued by traffic police to maintain roads and advocate for road safety awareness campaigns. Consequently, people will resort to wearing helmets to avoid these tickets which in turn fosters roads safety (Gleave, 2012).
Helmets are not without critics. A section of the public domain views helmets as useless safety gadgets. Doctor Henry Marsh is one such critic. Marsh affirms that helmets heighten the probability of accidents instead of lowering it. He further states that helmets make drivers feel that cyclists are safer and they, in turn, tend to drive closer to them, thus amplifying the chances of accidents (Matyszczyk, 2014).
Nevertheless, Marsh and other critics fail to note other obvious benefits of helmets such as reduced chances of head injury and increased visibility. Helmets should thus be made mandatory for bikers
To wrap up, helmets as a form of headgear enhance road safety by improving the visibility of cyclists. They also reduce the chances of a severe head impact on the event of an accident and shield cyclists from adverse weather effects. These benefits justify the making of helmets compulsory
Brandt, M., Ahrns, K., Corpron, C., Franklin, G., & Wahl, W. (2002). Hospital cost is reduced by motorcycle helmet use. The Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care, 53(3), 469-471.
Gleave, J. (2012). Cycle helmets: The impacts of compulsory cycle helmet legislation on cyclist fatalities and premature deaths in the UK. Bedford: Transport Planning Society.
Matyszczyk, C. (2014). Brain surgeon: There’s no point wearing bicycle helmets.
Turner, P. & Hagelin, C. (2004). Florida Motorcycle Helmet Use: Observational Survey and Trend Analysis.
World Health Organization. (2015). Road traffic injuries.