Ofonime Effiong Johnson
Motorcycle accidents contribute significantly to the number of road traffic accidents (RTAs) in many cities in southern Nigeria. This study was carried out to determine the prevalence and pattern of RTAs among commercial motorcyclists in a city in southern Nigeria. A descriptive, cross sectional study was carried out among motorcyclists in 2010 in Ikot Ekpene, Southern Nigeria. The instrument of data collection was a semi-structured interviewer administered questionnaire. Data was analysed using SPSS version 17. A total of 200 male commercial motorcyclists participated in the study, out of which 136 (68.0%) had been involved in RTAs since they started riding. Up to 119 (87.5%) of these were involved in accidents the year prior to the study. Eighty eight (64.7%) attributed the last accident to excessive speeding. Majority, 125 (91.9%), were not wearing helmets when the accident occurred. A total of 99 (72.8%) sustained injuries during the most recent accident, out of which 74 (74.7%) were injuries at the extremities. Speed reduction was identified by 138 (69.0%) motorcyclists as the single most important way of reducing RTAs among motorcyclists. Road traffic accidents were observed to occur more commonly amongst 96.6% of motorcyclists who drank alcohol, compared to 56% who did not, (p <0.05) and among 104 (80.0%) who were speeding excessively, compared to 32 (45.7%) who did not, (p<0.05). There is need for legislation against alcohol consumption among motorcyclists during riding hours and enforcement of speed limits by government in order to reduce RTAs among motorcyclists.
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