Objectives: To investigate the rate of helmet use among motorcycle drivers in Hai Duong province of Vietnam during winter/spring 2005, and to compare the rates of helmet use by road types.
Method: Population-based observational surveys.
Results: 16 560 motorcyclists were observed across 37 road sites (incorporating 5 road categories). The overall weighted average of helmet use for motorcyclists was 29.94%, with male drivers more likely to wear helmets than female drivers (odds ratio (OR) 1.64, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.53 to 1.76). Male pillion passengers were less likely to wear helmets than female pillion passengers (OR 0.78, 95% CI 0.72 to 0.85). The number of adult drivers using helmets is larger as compared with that of young drivers (OR 8.56, 95% CI 5.93 to 12.19). The rates of helmet use were significantly higher (p<0.001) on compulsory roads and were 59.01%, 39.97%, 24.22%, 12.7% and 9.54% for national, provincial, district, commune and Hai Duong inner-city roads, respectively.
Conclusion: Helmet legislation has increased the rate of helmet use by motorcycle drivers on compulsory roads. Elsewhere, rate of helmet use is very low, indicating that in the absence of legislation and enforcement, motorcyclists in Vietnam will not wear a helmet.
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Funding: DVH was funded by a doctoral scholarship from the Australian Agency for International Development. Financial assistance for this project was provided by The George Institute for International Health, Sydney, Australia.
Competing interests: None declared.
Contributors: DVH conceived the study, implemented all field activities, performed data entry, analyzed and led the writing. MRS assisted the study with methods, and supervised the analysis and writing. RQI helped with the literature review and writing. All authors helped to conceptualize ideas, interpret findings and review the final draft of the manuscript.
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