Who we are
Why focus on helmets as a road safety intervention?
AIP Foundation focuses on helmets as their main road safety intervention because: 1) in developing countries, motorbikes are the vast majority of the vehicles on the road and are involved in more accidents than any other type of vehicle 2) wearing a helmet has been proven to reduce your chance of death by 42 percent and serious injury by 69 percent 3) helmets can be produced in-country, creating jobs and supporting road safety programs, and 4) helmets are tangible, their use easily enforced, and wearing rates easily tallied, given human and financial resources.
What is a quality helmet?
The most important aspect of a quality helmet is its inner EPS lining. This is because the lining mitigates the impact of hitting the ground, absorbing the shock and protecting your brain. Look inside a helmet. There should be a white material that is too hard for fingernail penetration. If it is soft enough for your fingers to dent, it holds virtually no safety value. A hard outer shell protects your brain from sharp intrusive objects and a strap that fits snugly under your chin and around your ears ensures that the helmet sits on the correct place on your head.
Who should wear helmets, and when?
Every man, woman and child riding two- or three-wheeled vehicles – whether motorbikes, tuk-tuks or bicycles – should wear a helmet. All passengers and drivers older than six-months should wear a helmet to protect their head from serious trauma and injury. Helmet use is essential regardless of the time of day, the intensity of the traffic, the speed of the vehicle or the length of the trip.
Why focus on public safety awareness education?
Studies have shown that road traffic crashes are most often a result of driver ignorance. Sharing knowledge and facts, and highlighting the consequence of the correct road safety behavior, addresses one of the main factors that lead to road traffic crash injury and death. Additionally, public awareness campaigns reach the majority of the population through a variety of media – television, radio, print, outdoor advertisements and live events – which engage all sectors of society.
Why organize programs through schools?
Children are the future of any society, and in developing countries they make up a large percentage of the population. By targeting this population in our programs, we enjoy an impact on an impressionable and powerful part of society. Educating youth is a way to transform safe traffic behavior and helmet use into social norms. School systems have built in communication lines between students, parents, the government, the local police, and administrators. This ensures that AIP Foundation messages reach all actors involved in enforcement of helmet use and safe traffic behavior.
How does AIP Foundation measure the effectiveness of the programs?
AIP Foundation employs independent third-party research institutions to conduct pre- and post-program studies. This allows AIP Foundation to establish baseline rates and awareness levels, and measure the effectiveness of the programs against these baselines. We produce reports with all of our findings and share these with supporters and road safety stakeholders
What are the goals of Asia Injury Prevention Foundation?
Our goal is to stop the escalating number of people dying or being injured in road accidents in Southeast Asia through direct intervention in three areas:
- Providing access to high quality affordable motorbike helmets
- Creating public awareness and education programs
- Providing advocacy and information to governments considering changes to existing helmet and road safety laws
Why not focus on HIV or other major killers?
World attention is already focused on many of the world’s leading killers. But comparatively little effort is focused on reducing road accidents, where the ability to save lives is immediate and dramatic. Through low-tech efforts such as education programs and helmet donations, we can have a powerful impact. Thus far, AIDS impacts a certain sector of Asian societies; road death is indiscriminate and universal, as well as easily preventable.
Will it work?
In the targeted countries, rapid economic development is just beginning. We have a real chance to lay the groundwork to save thousands of lives in a short span of time. Over the past ten years Asia Injury Prevention Foundation has made great strides in improving traffic safety in Vietnam. These improvements can be seen on many levels. The Vietnamese government, because of increased international awareness of road safety, is now actively addressing the issue of traffic safety as evidenced by the revision of helmet standards, adopting much of AIP Foundation’s Traffic Safety Education curriculum and the Vietnamese mandatory helmet law, for which AIP Foundation was the primary lobby force, came into effect in 2007. Although progress is encouraging, there is still a long way to go. With the help of government bodies, nonprofit organizations, and corporate sponsors, AIP Foundation can build upon those gains, providing a safer environment for all to live.
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What you can do
The AIP Foundation needs your ongoing support to ensure that our work can continue as successfully as possible. You can get involved today and make a difference.