Young Age as a Predictor of Poor Road Safety Practices of Commercial Motorcyclists in Oyo State, Nigeria

2015-06-24T18:31:32Z (GMT) by Adesola O. Olumide Eme T. Owoaje
<p><b>Objective:</b> This study examined the association between young age and poor road safety practices of commercial motorcyclists in Oyo state, Nigeria.</p> <p><b>Methods:</b> A cross-sectional study of 371 commercial motorcyclists selected via a multistage sampling technique was conducted. Information on sociodemographic characteristics and road safety practices (possession of a valid license, helmet use, number of passengers carried per trip, and compliance with 10 selected traffic signs) was obtained with the aid of an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Individual road safety practice items were scored and a total score was obtained giving minimum and maximum obtainable scores of 0 and 35. Respondents with scores ≤ 17.5 (i.e., less than or equal to half of the maximum obtainable score of 35) were categorized as having poor road safety practices. Descriptive statistics, chi-square, and multiple logistic regression tests were conducted. Selected sociodemographic and occupation-related factors were controlled for in the logistic regression analysis.</p> <p><b>Results:</b> All respondents were male, 80.1% had been riding for commercial purposes for less than 5 years, and 73.0% had other jobs in addition to commercial riding. Road safety practices were generally poor; that is, 84.4% of commercial riders were categorized as having poor road safety practices. Almost all (98.6%) respondents aged < 25 years compared to 84.3% of those aged 25 to <35 years and 76.8% of those ≥35 years had poor road safety practices. This difference was statistically significant. Following logistic regression, younger age (<25 years) remained predictive of poor road safety practices. Motorcyclists aged < 25 years had about 16 times higher odds of having poor road safety practices compared to those aged 35 years and more (odds ratio = 15.72, 95% confidence interval, 1.82–135.91).</p> <p><b>Conclusion:</b> Most studies conduct only bivariate analysis to test the association between age and road practices of commercial motorcyclists; however, we investigated the influence of potential confounding variables using multivariate analysis. Our findings confirmed young age as a predictor of poor road safety practices among our sample of commercial motorcyclists and emphasizes the need for road safety programs to target this category of riders. The current minimum age for obtaining a rider's license in Nigeria is 18 years; our findings suggest that it might be beneficial to increase the age at which riders in our study area can obtain a commercial rider's license to above 25 years.</p>