Factors affecting the utilization of safety devices by commercial motorcyclists in South- East Nigeria
Background: Motorcycle crashes are common causes of morbidity and mortality for both riders and passengers. To prevent and reduce the severity of injuries sustained through road traffic accidents (RTA) many countries enforce the use of safety devices while riding. Certain factors including non-enforcement of the existing road safety laws have been implicated as causing the poor utilization of safety devices by motorcycle riders in the developing countries. This study seeks to determine the prevalence of use of safety devices, and the reasons for non-utilization of these devices among the commercial motorcyclists in south eastern Nigeria.
Methodology: This was a cross sectional survey conducted among commercial motorcycle riders in the three local government areas in Enugu metropolis, the capital of Enugu State.
Results: The prevalence of safety device use (goggles/helmets) in this study was 82.1% (505 motorcyclists). Four hundred and fifty three (73.7%) use goggles while 131 motorcyclists (21.3%) use helmets alone. The major determinants of non-utilization of helmets noted were cost among 52.1% of the riders and discomfort as 25.7% found the use of helmets uncomfortable. Age (>40 years) and marital status were significantly associated with use of safety devices while formal school education did not positively influence their use.
Conclusion: The prevalence for use of safety helmets is low and the reasons for the poor utilization of this safety device are trivial when compared with the overall safety of the motorcyclists.
Keywords: Determinants, prevalence, protective wears, riders