It is a sight very familiar on the roads of South Asia-an entire family perched precariously on a motorbike-the father balancing one child in the front and the mother clasping another close to her, as they weave their way through traffic.

If a serious crash were to occur, the family is extremely vulnerable among fast and heavy motor vehicles.

What's more, the rider is often the only one wearing a helmet, leaving the rest of the family unprotected. Two-wheeler crashes account for the highest death rate around the world, compared to other road traffic crashes.

The situation is particularly alarming in South Asia, where motorized two-wheelers account for up to 70% of total vehicles with motorization rate per population far exceeding that of cars. Motorized two-wheelers are also 30 times more prone to crashes compared to cars on a per km travelled basis.

In terms of fatalities, with only 10% of the global vehicle fleet, South Asia accounts for 25% of the road fatalities each year, with up to 40 percent of crash fatalities in the region being among two-wheelers.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 6, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.