The causes and prevalence of road traffic accidents amongst commercial long distance drivers in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria
The prevalence of road traffic accidents is on the rise, thus contributing to morbidity and mortality. In the year 2000, road traffic injuries was the 11th leading cause of death globally, currently, it is the 9th leading cause of death. Despite the tragedy behind the loss of life and injuries due to road traffic crashes, there is less mass media attention and public awareness than other less frequent types of tragedy. This study was done to assess the causes and prevalence of road traffic accidents among commercial long distance drivers in Benin City.
A descriptive cross sectional study design was used, and data was collected from 315 commercial long distance drivers and their vehicles. Study was done from January to October, 2013. Respondents were recruited using systematic random sampling technique. Study instruments included structured interviewer administered questionnaires and focus group discussion guide.
The results showed that 114 (36.2%) were within the age group of 31-40 years. Ninety-one (28.9%) were in the 41-50 years age group while 18 (5.7%) fell within the 61-70 years age group. Most of the respondents 272 (86.3%) were married, 28 (8.9%) were single, 10 (3.2%) were cohabiting, while 2 (0.6%) were separated. Almost all the respondents 311 (98.7%) were males while 4 (1.3%) were surprisingly females. More than half of the respondents 172 (54.6%) had a secondary level of education, 112 (35.6%) had a primary level of education while 12 (3.8%) had no formal education. The study showed a prevalence of road traffic accidents of 47.9% in Benin City occurring more in day time and the common causes of road traffic accidents include careless driving, speed violation, brake failure, traffic violations, faulty overtaking, burst tyre, bad roads, alcohol use and armed robbery attack. Thus measures should be made to ensure proper maintenance of the roads to ensure the risk of RTA due to bad road is reduced and also provide adequate security for road users to prevent armed robbery attacks.
Key Words: Road traffic accidents, determinants, crashes