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Should you own a crash helmet?

A crash helmet protects the head of a motorcyclist or passenger head in case of a crash.

It may sound ridiculous that we are here today to talk about a crash helmet when most of us aren’t sure about our next meal! But that’s not the point – let’s talk about safety. The aim is to survive regardless of the source of your next meal.

More motorcycles, hitherto called Boda Bodas, embrace the roads and streets of Kampala than any other automobile in the country. The probability of using one in a week may be higher than that of using a taxi. The implication? The risk of sustaining an injury in a road traffic accident that involves a Boda Boda is similarly higher. But, there’s a way out – a crash helmet. Why?

There are more Boda Bodas than vehicles in Uganda. As of 2004, all motorcyclists and their passengers must wear crash helmets according to the laws of the land. However, as you could suspect, adherence is far from perfect.

You should own a crash helmet! it is not a luxury for a Ugandan citizen.
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Unlike in a car, on a Boda Boda, the motorcyclist and the passengers are the frames! Zero protection. It is worrisome since the number of accidents involving Boda Boda riders has exponentially increased over the last decade. There are two fatal injuries involving a Boda Boda cyclist with or without a passenger for everyone involving a car.

Because the risk of suffering a head injury after an accident while using a Boda Boda is staggeringly high, especially without a crash helmet, it’s prudent that you carry your helmet wherever you opt to use the motorised two-wheelers.

The number of motorcyclists using helmets has increased in the last decade. However, that of the passengers doing the same is fascinatingly appalling. People may claim that the helmets are either costly or heavy to (buy) carry. The reply? Life is priceless.

Luckily, Safeboda and other companies with similar services have provided two helmets – one specifically for the passenger. However, there are caveats to this. The risk of contracting a skin disease increases if the hygiene of the helmet you are using is subpar. You are better off owning one than crying foul when you sustain a fatal head injury or die after an accident.

Consciously or not, each of us uses a Boda Boda. Let’s make it a habit to have our crash helmets to save more lives. Alive with a disability is far better than death without it. Let’s be smart. Be safe. Life matters.

Read this article for more information.


MBChB (MUK), Graduate Fellow, Department of Physiology, Makerere University Founder and Content Creator Peer reviewer, Associate Editor

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