Motorcycle helmet – What If You Wear a Turban?

So should you wear a helmet if you wear a Turban?

  • The answer is Yes.

Only wearing a turban doesn’t offer the rider the same level of protection that a typical helmet offers.

Sikhs may find a solution like wearing a helmet with Patka instead of a helmet with Turban.

This way, you will protect your life as well as follow your religious practice.


Safety vs Religion

Helmets have been made compulsory for those riding motorcycles though its implementation varies from country to country and even state to state.

The law to enforce the use of motorcycle helmets came about after experts in the medical field repeatedly confirmed that accident victims could have been saved if they had been wearing a helmet.

One particular section in the community has reservations about wearing a helmet due to their religious practices.

Sikhs wear a turban, a long piece of cloth wound around the head and they claim nothing can be worn over the turban.

There are pros and cons to this helmet vs. turban debate.

This solution may not be comfortable you could still be wearing a helmet with the turban.

Turban vs Crash Helmet

Motorcycle accidents occur regularly. While some result in fatalities, others may produce serious injuries.

When the victim suffers injuries in the neck or head region. The immediate question in front of the surgeon operating on the patient would be whether the individual was wearing a crash helmet.

In the majority of the cases, the doctors conclude that the non-use of a crash helmet was the cause of the injury.

There are even research findings that demonstrate which parts of the head receive more injuries when a person is thrown up on impact and comes crashing down.

There are several parts like the lower portions of the head, the chin and mouth which are prone to injuries. A proper crash helmet that covers the whole head, including the mouth, will protect the motorcycle rider.

A turban, on the other hand, does not cover these critical areas. If a Sikh motorcycle driver were to suffer injuries in an accident, he will not receive protection from his turban in precisely these areas which are found more vulnerable.

How to Wear a Helmet with Turban?

Are you a motorcycle rider wondering how to wear a helmet over your turban?

Then you may opt for alternatives to the turban, like patka. This way, you are not violating the religious requirement of wearing a turban.

Just take a look at Sikh fighter pilots in the Air Force. They wear the mandatory helmet with turban when going on sorties.

They wear an alternative, the patka over which the helmet can be worn.

Are There Sikhs Who Wear Helmets?

Yes, several popular sportsperson from the Sikh community have also followed this practice of wearing the Patka or a baseball cap or a Panama hat before wearing the helmet.

These go to show that you need to assign a higher priority to the safety of your life over the religious compulsion.

You will find that even courts take the legal stand that safety overrides everything else.

In a typical judgment, a court passed an order that if a Sikh contestant refused to wear the helmet, then he cannot participate in a cycling competition.

The race organizers affirmed that as per the rules, all participants must wear helmets.

The contestant could have opted for a helmet with turban.

Conclusion

So should you wear helmet if you wear a Turban?

  • The answer is Yes.

Only wearing a turban doesn’t offer the rider the same level of protection that a typical helmet offers.

 

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