As compared to Malaysia, the number of motorcycles on the road in most major cities in Vietnam is very high which is more than 90% of the total number of vehicles on the road. In Malaysia, the number of motorcycles is a little bit more than 50% and yet the motorcycles created a lot of issues especially safety related issues. The high number of motorcycles also created unique problems with respect to the design and operations of road system in the country.
The reason for the high number of motorcycles in Vietnam is mainly attributed to their previous war: only a handful of people can afford to buy automobiles.
In Vietnam, the road is overwhelmed by motorcycles even though the road is not designed for motorcycles. If there are other types of vehicles on the road such as cars or Lorries, they have to give ways to motorcycles.
As in the picture above, sometime in 2004, motorcyclists were not required to wear safety helmet. However, nowadays, it is mandatory for motorcyclists to wear helmet in Vietnam. The only thing is that they can wear any kind of helmet as long as there are some sorts of helmet to cover their head. Soon they will realize that they also need to emphasize more on the appropriate type of helmet to be used by motorcyclists in order to provide better protection during accident.
Due to the high number of motorcycles on the road, it is very challenging situation for pedestrian to cross the road. It takes a lot of guts to cross the road safely. But through my observations, the motorcyclists in Vietnam also adapted themselves to ensure they will not hit pedestrians while they are crossing the street.