Pattern of seat belt use and its associated factors among taxi drivers in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania
Objective: Road traffic injuries constitute a major public health concern that demands effective interventions. Use of car seat belts is recommended as an effective intervention to reduce serious and fatal road traffic injuries. The study intended to investigate the pattern of seat belt use and its correlates among taxi drivers in Dar es Salaam city, Tanzania.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in three municipals involving 208 taxi drivers. Data were gathered using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Information on respondent’s demographic characteristics, pattern of seat belt use and components of the health belief model (HBM) were recorded.
Results: Overall, 75% of the respondents reported that they used seat belts most of the time or all of the time when driving their cars and 4.3% of the respondents never used seat belts when driving. Perceived susceptibility of being involved in traffic crash was significantly higher among drivers who use seat belts than those who do not (p=0.006). Taxi drivers using seat belts had significantly high perceived benefits of seat belt use than those who reported not to use seat belts (p=0.038). Seat belt use was not significantly associated with perceived severity, cues to action and perceived barriers. Majority of the respondents were aware of the importance of seat belt use.
Conclusion: In addition to enforcement of seat belt use laws, there is a need to implement educational strategies to ensure that seat belt usage rates are improved and maintained. Further research involving other populations using different methodologies are also required.
KEY WORDS: Seat belt, taxi drivers, Health Belief Model, road traffic injury, Tanzania