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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Risky driving behaviors for road traffic accident among drivers in Mekele city, Northern Ethiopia

Abrahim Hassen1, Ameyu Godesso2, Lakew Abebe2 and Eshetu Girma2*

Author Affiliations

1 Tigray Regional Health Bureau, Mekele, Ethiopia

2 Department of Health Education and Behavioral Sciences, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:535  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-535

Published: 13 December 2011

Abstract

Background

Due to its perception as a disease of development, road traffic accident and related injuries tend to be under recognized as a major health problem in developing countries. However, majority of the world's fatalities on the roads occur in low income and middle income countries. Since the main cause of road traffic accident is attributed to human risky behaviors, it is important to identify significant factors for risky behaviors of drivers.

Methods

A quantitative cross-sectional study with a sample size of 350 drivers was conducted in April 2011. The study was conducted among Taxi, Bajaj (three tire vehicles) and private owned car drivers. After proportion to size allocation for Taxi (75), Baja (103) and private owned car (172) drivers, we used systematic random sampling method to identify illegible study subjects. Data was collected with face to face interview using a pretested questioner. Univariate, bivariate and multivariate analysis was done using SPSS version 16.

Results

The mean age of the respondents was 28.7 (SD 9.9). Majority were 339 (96.9%) males. Significant number of the study subjects 233 (66.6%) had risky driving behaviors. More than a quarter 100 (28.6%) had less knowledge about basic traffic signs. Majority of drivers 181 (51.7%) had negative attitude towards risky driving behaviors. Significant percent of them 148 (42.3%) had a habit of using mobile phone while driving vehicle and 28 (9.7%) had experience of driving after drinking alcohol. All the Bajaj, 97(62.6%) house car and 58(37.4%) taxi unfasten their seat belt while driving. Majority 303 (86.6%) followed the recommended speed limit of driving. About 66 (18.9%) of them had experience of punishment or warning by traffic polices in the previous 1 year and 77 (22%) ever had car accident while driving.

Conclusions

Drivers of secondary education and with high average monthly income were more likely to have risky driving behavior. Having supportive attitude towards risky driving behaviors and not getting advice about risky driving from significant others increases the likelihood of developing risky driving behavior. Interventions targeted at developing negative attitude towards risky driving behaviors on drivers and significant others should be implemented to bring positive behavior change. The interventions need to be segmented with educational status and income.