Road traffic injuries in Kenya: A survey of commercial motorcycle drivers
Introduction: motorcycle injuries contribute a substantial number of deaths and hospital admissions in Kenya. There is paucity of data to inform prevention strategies to address the issue. Therefore, the current study sought to explore the characteristics of 2 and 3-wheeler related road traffic injuries (RTIs) in Kenya.
Methods: a cross-sectional survey of motorcycle drivers involved in a RTI in the preceding 3 months was conducted in 11 urban and rural sites in Kenya's Thika town through face- to -face structured interviews. Drivers' demographic information, comprehensive crash characteristics and socioeconomic impact of injury data were collected.
Results: of 200 drivers injured, 98% were male, with average age of 28.4 years (SD±6.6). Of these drivers, 33% were not wearing any protective equipment. Negligence was the most reported cause of crash (33%), followed by slippery roads (21.0%) and speeding (17.5%). The risk of sustaining a bodily injury was 1.3 times higher in drivers who had not received prevention education compared to those who had received such education. People injured at night were 5 times more likely to sustain a bodily injury compared to those injured during the day. Only 8.5% of the drivers reported the injury incident to the police.
Conclusion: majority of motorcycle related injuries in Thika town occur among young, productive, working-age male drivers. A high proportion of injuries are due to negligence on riding while not wearing any protective equipment compounded by lack of injury prevention education. Initiatives to foster helmet wearing, provision of high-quality affordable helmets, responsible driving and advocacy for stronger legislation, are recommended.