2. Study of Helmet Preference in Thiruvananthapuram and Cochin Cities

April 2005 to December 2005
(i) National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC), Thiruvananthapuram (R)
(ii) Kerala State Transport Projects/ (S)


Scope and Objectives

The objective of this study is to assess the proportion of two wheeler riders who use helmet, percentage of helmet ownership, characteristics of helmet and non-helmet users, reasons for choosing a particular helmet, problems faced in the usage of helmet and to recommend suitable enforcement measures.

The methodology of the study consists of assessing the behavioural aspects of Two – Wheeler rides, through opinion surveys, analysis and compilation of the final report.
(i) It was observed that nearly 63% of two wheeler riders possess helmets in Thiruvananthapuram City. Of these, hardly 8% of two wheeler riders use helmets regularly.

(ii) In the case of Cochin City, over 75% of bike riders posses helmets, of which, only 28% of two wheeler riders use helmets regularly.

(iii) It was found that the nearly half the number of bike users in Thiruvananthapuram City did not favour helmet due to “Lack of Air Circulation”. Similarly, more than 38% of users did not wear helmet in Cochin due to non – enforcement by the authorities concerned.

(iv) Majority of the respondents (55%) preferred the lightweight helmet in Thiruvananthapuram City. In the case of Cochin City, majority of the respondents preferred sturdy model of helmet.

(v) Some of the reasons given for not wearing helmets were: difficult to carry the helmets, the hot weather makes it difficult to wear the helmets, possible uneasiness while using helmet, use of cell phone becomes difficult when wearing helmet etc.

(vi) The respondents in both cities agreed that helmet wearing should be made compulsory and it should be enforced in a sustainable way.
Significant/Utilisation Potential
This study helped in identifying the reasons for not wearing helmet and type of actions needed to make helmet – use a regular phenomenon.
Further study is needed on other cities to critically analyse the reasons for not wearing helmet and to recommend appropriate actions for voluntary use of helmets by all two – wheeler users in the country.