Helmets

Even though helmets are not cool in Thailand, I finally got myself a motorcycle helmet.  After climbing today I headed over to the Tesco Lotus in Krabi Town because that’s the only place I know of to get a helmet.  There was only one helmet that fit me.  I think Thai people have rounder heads than I do since nearly every helmet put a lot of pressure on the front and back of my head with a lot of space on the sides.  The helmet fit good enough and felt like I could wear it for up to a couple hours without it causing pain.  I ended up getting a Nakoya Rider Evolution for 599 Baht ($18 or $19).  Amazingly there were some helmets as cheap as 250 Baht (about $8).  None of the helmets had a DOT, Snell, or ECE rating.  I suppose this helmet will be better than nothing and will do it’s job at the relatively low speeds I go.  The primary purpose of this helmet is to protect my wallet from the police and I think it will do a very good job at that.  For now I’m happy with it but I will keep a look out for a helmet with DOT, Snell, or ECE rating.  I suspect it will cost more than $18.

I’m still trying to understand why Thai’s drive and act the way they do on the roads.  The Thai government has been trying to reduce accidents and injuries on the roads.  But their method seems to be on enforcing regulatory compliance (drivers licenses, helmets, etc…) rather than changing drivers attitude and eliminating dangerous behavior.  I just read something on how most Thai people consider themselves good drivers.  Funny how everyone thinks they are a good driver.

I joke about helmets not being cool.  I’ve noticed around town and along the beach almost nobody wears a helmet, probably because people are making short trips and the speeds are much lower.  On the bigger roads with faster speed limits significantly more people wear helmets but it’s still probably 50% or less.  Maybe Thai attitudes towards driving are slowly changing…  Me, I plan on wearing mine for all trips, whether it’s to Krabi Town or to the corner 7-11 for more beer.

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