DETERMINANTS OF ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS AMONG CLIENTS OF AUTOMOBILE REPAIR WORKSHOPS IN FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY, ABUJA

DETERMINANTS OF ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS AMONG CLIENTS OF AUTOMOBILE REPAIR WORKSHOPS IN FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY, ABUJA

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SUMMARY

According to the World Health Organization, about 1.24 million people die every year as a result

of road traffic accidents. Nigeria, like other developing countries, has a high rate of road traffic

accidents, one of the highest accident rates in Africa. The aim of the study was to identify the

determinants of road traffic accidents among clients of automobile repair workshops within the

Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria.

A cross-sectional (retrospective) descriptive study was conducted among those who patronize

randomly selected automobile repair workshops registered under the National Association of

Automobile Technicians, Abuja Chapter with focus on vehicle owners and/or drivers who met

the inclusion criteria for the study. Semi-structured interviewer administered questionnaire was

used to collect socio-demographic data as well as information on driving characteristics,

involvement in accidents and circumstances around such accidents. The data was analyzed using

Epi info version 7. Univariate analysis of human, environmental and vehicular factors

responsible for accidents was done; bivariate analyses were done to determine the odds of

involvement in accidents with respect to modifiable human factors. A p-value of < 0.05 was

considered statistically significant.

A total of 298 respondents were vehicle drivers. Males made up 225 (85.6%) of these. One

hundred and twenty one (40.6%) of the respondents fell within the age group of 30 – 39 years.

The mean age was 35.9+8.6 years. One hundred and twenty two (40.9%) picked phone calls

without hands free device; 188 (63.1%) tuned their radio when driving. A total of 194 (65.1%)

had been involved in an accident in the past, the average age among this group was 37.4+ 8 years

and 166 (85.4%) were males. About 31 (16%) accidents occurred on Mondays and 29 (14.9%)

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on Fridays. Seventeen (8.8%) accidents occurred on Saturdays. Fifty-seven (29.4%), of the

accidents happened in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC). Forty-nine (23.3%) of the

accidents were head on collisions, 43 (22.8%) occurred at night and 38 (19.6%) occurred at T-

junctions. Twenty-five (12.9%) of the respondents said their brakes failed at the time of the

accident. Age, duration of driving and area council of respondents were significantly associated

with involvement in accidents. Those that read text messages while driving were about 3 times as

likely to be involved in accidents as those that did not; this association was higher among female

drivers. About half (49.5%) of the accidents were severe. Of those involved in accidents, 145

(74.7%) of the drivers had a seatbelt on at the time of the accident. There was no statistically

significant relationship between use of seatbelt and severity of accident.

The study recommends continuous advocacy and sensitization on safe driving including use of

seatbelts and avoidance of phone use. Also, traffic lights or traffic wardens should be deployed

to T- junctions and U-turns.

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION 1.1.            Background

About 20 and 50 million people are injured (some with permanent disabilities) and about 1.24

million people die every year as a result of road traffic accidents (also called motor vehicle

accident, collision, crash);2 most of these deaths occur in young people between the ages of 15–

29 years with 91% of the world's fatalities occurring in low-income and middle-income

countries. Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs) affect mostly those termed vulnerable road users

(VRUs) such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Road traffic accidents cost an estimated

US$ 518 billion globally and about 1-1.5% of Gross National Product (GNP) of many low- and

middle-income countries.4 Year 2020 global forecasts suggest that traffic accidents will be sixth

as a cause of death, second in terms of years of life lost (YLL) and third with respect to

‗disability-adjusted life years‘ (DALYs).3

The 2004 World Health Day was dedicated to the theme ―Road Safety is No Accident‖.5

Globally the highest fatality rates (deaths per 10,000 motor vehicles) worldwide occur in African

countries, particularly Ethiopia, Uganda and Malawi whilst fatality risk (deaths/100,000

population) is highest in a disparate group of countries including Thailand, Malaysia, South

Africa and Saudi Arabia.3 Nigeria has a high rate of road traffic accidents. The proportion of

deaths from road traffic accidents in Nigeria is said to have increased from 38.2 percent to 60.2


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