In Hanoi, crossing the street can be a dangerous proposition. Despite the high marks that Vietnamese motorists receive for driving etiquette in the absence of formal traffic rules, (clearly evidenced by the ability of the pedestrian in this video to weave in and out of countless motorbikes) traffic safety is a major public health concern in Vietnam.
A recent article in the Malaysian Sun presents the grim figures:
Traffic accidents are one of the leading causes of death in Vietnam, with an average of 36 people killed each day on the roads as the country’s new prosperity leads to greater numbers of motorbikes and cars.
Last year, some 13,000 people died on Vietnam’s roads, railways and waterways. Safety advocates say that the number of deaths could be cut if more motorbike drivers wore helmets.
Only three per cent now wear helmets even though motorbikes account for up to 90 percent of vehicles on the roads, according to the Asian Injury Prevention Foundation.
Click here to read a post by Lee Schipper, a fellow contributor at TheCityFix, who had the opportunity to ride a two-wheeler in Hanoi. And click here to see a movie to the one above about motorbikes in Ho Chi Minh City.