Central nervous system affecting drugs and road traffic accidents among commercial motorcyclists
Background: Commercial motorcyclists are popular due to the convenience associated with their use especially in areas where taxis do not ply. The financial benefits to the operators caused a boom but indirectly resulted in a lot of carnage on our roads. These accidents (RTA) have been attributed to various causes including driving under the influence of drugs that affect the central nervous system (CNS).
Objective: This study was aimed at determining the role of CNS affecting drugs in the causation of RTA among these motorcyclists and also to make recommendations based on the result.
Methodology: This is a cross-sectional survey with a multi-stage random sampling used to select 615 commercial motorcyclists in Enugu metropolis. A structured questionnaire was administered after obtaining consent from the respondents. Data were analysed with the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 11.5 and variables were tested using the Chi square. A p-value of <0.05% was considered significant.
Results: Amongst the motorcyclists 78% were using CNS affecting drugs while 57.7% had been involved in RTA. These were mostly in the 31-40 and 21-30year age groups. The use of CNS affecting drugs, as well as inexperience in riding, was significantly associated with RTA. Visual impairment was not a significant cause of RTA.
Conclusion: The use of CNS affecting drugs is common among commercial motorcyclists. Majority of commercial motorcyclists involved in RTA use these drugs. The government of Nigeria through its agencies should enforce laws regulating motorcycle riding under the influence of drugs.
Keywords: Brain, influence, riders, substances