Background Following Vietnam’s 2007 helmet law, helmet-wearing rates are high, at 81% for drivers and 60% for passengers (WHO, 2018), but standard helmet-use is low (WHO, 2013). This study examines characteristics of helmets and rates of quality helmet-use and related factors.
Method This study uses a cross-sectional design with a sample size of 540 drivers and passengers in HCMC and Thai Nguyen. Data on helmet use was collected using structured questionnaire. Both child and adult helmets were exchanged and tested in two stages: the first test assessed basic required components, size, weight, protection areas. Helmets passing the first stage proceeded to a second test on impact absorption.
Results Significant proportions of respondents wear substandard helmets, with the wearing-rate of poor-quality ‘cap-helmets’ without lining at 25.6%. 41.5% of surveyed helmets had been used over three years, exceeding the recommended maximum age.
Of surveyed helmets, 37.6% passed the first test, and 10.6% of all surveyed helmets also passed the impact absorption test.
Although 48.9% of participants demonstrated willingness-to-pay >250,000VND, the average price of a standard helmet, substandard helmets were widely used as consumers prioritized appearance and comfort.
Conclusion Though helmet-wearing rates in Vietnam are high, the quality of helmets used by motorcyclists remains poor. Only 10.6% of surveyed helmets met technical standards, though participants demonstrated willingness-to-pay for a standard helmet.
Learning Outcomes Further research is needed to understand detailed needs and barriers in implementing actions to increase standard helmet-use. Improving enforcement and awareness of helmet quality on the market is also crucial.