An engineer in Ho Chi Minh City has developed a frame that would protect motorbike riders if they fall or crash into something.
On Thursday, November 3, Tran Son Tuong publicly tested the frame by himself. After falling several times and being hit by a truck, he suffered no injury.
Not only was the rider safe, his bike remained intact with the support of the frame that he called the bike's "armor."
Tuong said the design is actually very simple - a steel frame with small wheels on it edges. A pole from the seat supports a roof and also has a seatbelt like that of a car, he said.
When the bike crashes, the wheel system makes it roll on the road instead of being run over by the vehicle that hit it.
Tuong has also attached to the frame airbags and a driving system that he says can help the bike stay afloat and move on waterways like a boat.
"I will test the bike in the Saigon River next week," he told Thanh Nien, adding that the design could help motorcycles crossing streets that are heavily flooded in HCMC due to heavy rain and high tides.
He is preparing documents to submit the frame's design to the HCMC Department of Science and Technology to ask for more funding so that he can improve it further.
Currently, Tuong is supported by 82-year-old Nguyen Van Gang of Go Vap District, a former official of the municipal Party unit.
Tuong said he hopes his design will be commercialized to help reduce fatalities from traffic accidents and improve safety on the street in general.
According to the Road and Railways Traffic Police Department, more than 23,000 traffic accidents nationwide in the first half of this year killed 5,662 people and injured 25,600 others. This amounts to 30 deaths a day.
The National Traffic Safety Committee has reported that 13,713 road traffic accidents nationwide led to 11,060 deaths and 10,306 injuries in 2010.
Some 70 percent of road traffic accidents are related to motorbikes. Vietnam, which has a population of 86 million, has 32 million registered motorbikes and the number has increased by 10 percent a year over the past few years. HCMC has around 4.7 million motorbikes while Hanoi has 3.8 million.
The Transport Ministry has forecast that there will be 36 million motorcycles in the country by 2020.