Annual death of young persons worldwide through road accidents is more than that caused by AIDS. More so in developing countries. It is not only human tragedy but a great economic loss. A large number of deaths come from two wheelers. The youth who ride these or drive these are having skill sets which give them incomes to venture into more exciting things. Two wheelers and automobiles help them to go to the places of jobs and for other social events. But these auto drives also give them a 'kick' of speed; competition in roads etc. No doubt we need to create awareness not to speed; not to do drunken driving etc. Still many of them don't care.
The problems faced are not just death but also serious injuries and resultant disabilities.
Can we do something about it? I feel 'YES'. One can go beyond helmets which are unwieldy. Modern plastic can give good solutions.
Soft and airy head protectors reasonably tight fitted to heads. Since plastics are elastic within a few different sizes most heads can have fits. Airyness to be ensured through some holes and also flow paths. Even if there is a compulsory wearing of helmets (often governments don't change rules fast!) it can be worn over these plastic head covers.
Once this technology is mastered, one can do some additional cover for the body parts. For example wrist covers; elbow covers; knee covers etc.
Knee & wrist covers require special designs even split designs so that their movements are not impaired.
Hip parts can also be similarly covered by a broad flexible plastic belt.
(If we see the recent reports of possible modes of death of Benazir Bhutto, one can see the useful role of plastic covered for heads (not helmets) when one sits in a vehicle and where bumps on the way are expected.)
Also seeing the trends of pelting of stones etc., even media persons and local politicians (big ones have a large security cover) can use plastic covers for heads, hand, body etc ! Even for police persons and security guards in disturbed areas !
On the whole, there are good market avenues, if innovative designs and low cost models can be done.
I pose this as a good challenge to designers, product makers ! You don't have to invent a new plastic or composite material. Many existing ones will suffice.
If you succeed, it is good business. Also you would have saved lots of human lives and disabilities