Journal of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care

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Incidence of road traffic accidents and pattern of injury among commercial motorcyclists in a rural community in south western Nigeria

ET Owoaje, OE Amoran, O Osemeikhain, OE Ohnoferi


Background and Objective: Motorcyclists are at high risk of road traffic accidents and the attendant injuries, but few community-based studies have investigated the problem in Nigeria. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine the incidence of accidents and patterns of non-fatal injury among commercial motorcyclists in a rural community in Oyo State, Nigeria.
Methodology: A total sample of all the commercial motorcyclists registered in the motor parks of Igbo-Ora, Oyo State was surveyed. An interviewer administered questionnaire was used to collect information on the respondents\' socio-demographic characteristics, occurrence of accidents in the year preceding the study, type of injury sustained, motorcycle riding experience, substance use and other characteristics.
Results: Two hundred and ninety nine motorcyclists were interviewed, 136(45.3%) had been involved in a road traffic accident; of these 85 (62.5%) were involved in a single accident, while 51(37.5%) were involved in 2 or more accidents. Motorcycle accident risk factors included age of the motorcyclist, between 20-29 and 30-39 years, OR 10.1 and OR 9.6 respectively, alcohol use, OR 1.18, and visual impairment, OR 1.62. The collisions occurred mainly with cars (28.7%) and other motorcyclists (27.9%). The commonest types of injuries sustained were abrasions and cuts (67 .6%) and fractures of the upper and lower limbs (16.2%).
Conclusion: Road traffic accidents occur frequently among commercial motorcyclists in this community. Introduction of road safety education targeted at discouraging alcohol use among these motorcyclists while riding and ensuring periodic visual acuity assessment is recommended.

Keywords: commercial motorcyclists, accidents, injuries, risk factors, rural community, Nigeria

Journal of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care 2005, 17(1): 7-12
AJOL African Journals Online