Helmet issues in Vietnam
Here in Vietnam the most common form of transport is motorcycle, especially in the cities. There is a law about wearing helmets here, if you don’t wear one and get caught by the police you will have to pay a fine. The majority people who are motorcyclists wear helmets but some don’t, death rates from this is increasing everyday, and wearing cheap helmets here is as simple as splitting a coconut and strapping it onto your head.
Cheap helmets, which are often worn to conform with the law, here are available everywhere, you can even get them from convenient stores for less than 10 dollars. Cheap helmets are poorly made from fragile plastic, when dropped they can shatter into sharp pieces and could wound you, wearing these cheap helmets can be even more dangerous than not wearing one. AsiaLIFE covered this issue in a previous post on our site Click Here to read more.
Should you just not wear a helmet then? Of course not, not wearing a helmet while motorcycling would just be utterly stupid. Even though you would be more cautious while not wearing one and many people consider themselves good drivers, but you could still consider a vehicle crashing into you. Here many drivers don’t really pay attention to their surroundings and only looks forward, for example when a driver turns into a side road often will not look behind or indicate causing an accident, not your fault but you still end up on the road.
I moved here roughly 4 months ago because of my fathers work, I live in Thao Dien inside of District 2 Ho Chi Minh City and study at International School Ho Chi Minh City or ISHCMC for short. This district is where most the foreigners live in HCMC and quite a lot of adults here ride motorcycles and don’t wear helmets, which isn’t a good example for children. For instance, when children or teens see them, they would probably think that the roads here aren’t as dangerous as they thought, so they think they don’t need a helmet too.
There was one time when I was going to go to a friend’s house but it was very close so I decided not to wear a helmet and when I was about to leave my mother told me to wear one so I argued and wore it anyways. And when I was on my way to my friends place, suddenly a car came by really fast and very close so I lost control of the bike and I fell down hitting my head very hard. That was a great lesson for me, and ever since that day I never went biking without a helmet again.
Over all, wearing a helmet is just common sense it is also a law, so you should respect the law. But you should always think about your loved ones on how they would feel if you were gone. I myself used to be a mountain biker back in Thailand and I’m quite confident in my biking skills, but still I’d rather keep my brain intact.