Factors like public transport, and road networks have significant impact on public’s health. These factors directly affect the amount of air pollution by vehicles, the degree of physical exercise undertaken by individuals, and the number of road traffic accidents and injuries. Long commuting times degrade the quality of life and also impacts peoples’ health.
Riding two wheelers can be injurious to health?
People prefer two-wheelers due to absence of good public transport. However, Use of such vehicles increases exposure to the risk of road accident related injuries. Two-wheeler riders are more exposed to injuries caused due to bumpy roads and unruly traffic compared to people travelling in car, bus or metro rail.
Team of researchers from Mangalore, Karnataka, recently conducted a study about vibration, and its effects on health of a two wheeler rider. This study was published in International Journal of Research in Engineering and Technology. Researchers suggest that two wheeler riders are exposed to several types of vibrations due to bad road conditions, vehicle’s engine and vehicle’s overall design. These vibrations (depending on the duration of exposure) can cause problems related to upper limbs, neck, lower back, and illness related to spine.
Travelling for few minutes might not impact much, but prolonged exposure to these vibrations can also cause other health issues like headache, fatigue, motion sickness, finger numbness, and shoulder pain.
Poor public transport assures high two wheeler and petrol sales
Poor public transport helps in keeping two wheeler and fuel sales figures high. This ultimately benefits politicians who own stake in two wheeler manufacturing companies and petrol pumps in various cities. Perhaps, this is the reason that authorities in certain Indian cities are not willing to improve public transport by offering services like Metro Rail, etc.
In February 2014, Indian two wheeler makers manufactured 18, 11,276 units. This is definitely a good sign for two wheeler makers in the country. However, it might not prove to be good for cities which are already suffering due to poor roads.
Pune witnesses alarming number of two wheeler accidents every month
People in Pune prefer riding two wheeler due to absence of good public transport. According to reports released by Pune Traffic Police, everyday the RTO registers around 900 new vehicles. Unfortunately, due to lack of planning, and infrastructural development, this growth in the number of vehicles is creating problems for pedestrians as well as those driving their vehicles. Total, 798 people lost their life due to road accidents in Pune during 2013; most of them were two wheeler riders.
Non-use of crash helmets and delay in receiving medical help are the main reasons behind road accidental deaths. However, let’s not forget that head injury is not the only reason behind these deaths. Some riders lost their life in-spite of wearing helmet, as they came under the wheels of PMPML buses.
Tip-This story is based on research papers released by the World Health Organization and the International Journal of Research in Engineering and Technology.
By- Nitten Gokhaley
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