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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 41-45

Determinants of road traffic crashes among intercity commercial drivers in Ile-Ife, Nigeria


1 Department of Surgery, LAUTECH, Ogbomosho, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
4 Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Date of Submission09-Jun-2021
Date of Decision24-Mar-2022
Date of Acceptance14-Dec-2022
Date of Web Publication21-Mar-2023

Correspondence Address:
Dr. S A Olowookere
Department of Community Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/njhs.njhs_9_21

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  Abstract 


Background: Road traffic crashes are a common cause of preventable injury and death worldwide including in Nigeria.
Objective: This study assessed the determinants of road traffic crashes among intercity commercial drivers in Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study design. Three hundred and fifty commercial drivers completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire on the occurrence and determinants of road traffic crashes. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Results: The respondents were male, with a mean age of 45.6 (10.6) years, married (88.9%), had secondary education (57.4%) and earned above $5/month (94.3%). Only 28.3% attended driving school, 26.9% started driving <10 years and 65.4% drove more than 8 h daily with morning hours considered the busiest (63.4%). Over one-third (36.7%) of the respondents had experienced road traffic crashes with 86.7% driving when crashes occurred. The identified causes of road traffic crashes include bad roads (37.5%), burst tyre (18.8%), over-speeding (18%) and brake failure (16.4%). Other causes include driving fatigue/sleeping while driving (14.1%), driving at night (14.1%) and environmental factors (13.3%). The outcome of road traffic crashes includes vehicular damage (75%), injury to the passenger (45.3%) and driver (38.3%) with fatal (13.3%). The determinants of road traffic crashes include young age (adjusted odd ratio [AOR] = 8.17; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.15–17.7; P = 0.001), using sedatives (AOR = 6.49; 95% CI = 2.91–14.46; P = 0.001), alcohol use (AOR = 17.76; 95% CI = 8.72–36.16; P = 0.001), night driving (AOR = 3.10; 95% CI = 1.41–6.78; P = 0.005) and driving over 8 h per day (AOR = 2.78; 95% CI = 1.40–5.53; P = 0.004).
Conclusion: Road traffic crashes were common among young commercial intercity drivers with causes varying from human, mechanical and environmental factors. Strategy to reduce these factors will improve road safety among commercial drivers.

Keywords: Commercial intercity drivers, determinants, Nigeria, road traffic crashes


How to cite this article:
Olakulehin O A, Olowookere S A, Ilori T, Fehintola F O, Abiodun A A, Ihimekpen G E, Isangedighi A O, Muibi R A, Ojedeji P D. Determinants of road traffic crashes among intercity commercial drivers in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Niger J Health Sci 2022;22:41-5

How to cite this URL:
Olakulehin O A, Olowookere S A, Ilori T, Fehintola F O, Abiodun A A, Ihimekpen G E, Isangedighi A O, Muibi R A, Ojedeji P D. Determinants of road traffic crashes among intercity commercial drivers in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Niger J Health Sci [serial online] 2022 [cited 2024 Feb 28];22:41-5. Available from: http://www.https://chs-journal.com//text.asp?2022/22/2/41/372262




  Introduction Top


Road traffic crashes are a major cause of trauma and preventable death with high morbidity and mortality worldwide, especially in middle- and less-developed economies such as Nigeria.[1],[2],[3] Over 80% of road traffic crashes occur in these countries, thereby increasing their economic burden with a high amount of money lost to hospital, alternative and home-based care for the victims.[2],[3],[4] Road traffic crashes cost the global community every year over $518 billion, with resultant workforce depletion, facility destruction and economic crisis with increasing finance to reduce its negative effects.[1],[4]

A road traffic crashes result from the collision of two or more vehicles, or collision of vehicle with pedestrians, animals or non-living objects such as trees and stones resulting in injury, property damage or death.[4],[5] Most road traffic crashes result from human error which includes inappropriate or excessive vehicular speed resulting in fatal collisions; other causes include rash driving, mobile telephone use, deliberate violation of rules, inability to understand or obey road signs, driving or walking under the influence of drugs or alcohol and avoidance of safety gears such as seat belts and helmets.[4],[6],[7],[8] Other factors include the environment, poor road conditions and poor maintained vehicles.[6],[7] The effects of road traffic crashes on victims include physical injuries, psychological injuries with extreme fear, helplessness and loss of control.[8],[9],[10] Physical injuries could lead to partial or total disability or death.[9],[10]

Intercity or interstate bus drivers often drive long distances and are responsible for maintaining their vehicle while in transit. Bus drivers transport passengers, picking up and dropping off people travelling from one community to another at predetermined bus stops along the route. Intercity or interstate drivers are usually under more stress than their counterparts plying intracity roads as they usually cover longer distances with high traffic. In Nigeria, some commercial drivers are self-employed and owned the vehicles they drive while other drivers make daily or weekly monetary delivery to the vehicle owners. Therefore, to meet the expected target, some drivers have to drive at top speeds daily, sometimes making several trips per day.[10],[11]

According to the Federal Road Safety Corps, 2011 reports, between 2007 and 2010, there was a yearly average of 1457 cases and a monthly average of 121 crashes involving buses on Nigerian roads. The figure increased each year by between 5% and 37%. In the same period, over 30,000 people were killed or injured.[4],[12] The number of road traffic deaths continues to rise steadily worldwide reaching 1.35 million annually and 3700 on daily basis.[8] According to the report, over 20,000 people were involved in road crashes involving cars, minibuses, motorcycles, trucks, tankers and trailers. Reports showed that major causes of road traffic crashes were speed violation, wrongful overtaking, dangerous driving, tyre burst and brake failure.[8],[9],[10],[11]

As in developed countries, driver impairment is an important component of road traffic crashes in developing countries. Driving at excess speeds, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, while sleepy or tired, when visibility is compromised or without protective gear for all vehicle occupants are major factors in crashes, deaths and serious injuries.[4],[7] In a study by Okafor et al., the prevalence of road traffic crashes in Benin City, Nigeria was 47.9%.[13] Driver fatigue is a very dangerous condition created when a person is suffering symptoms of fatigue while driving, often resulting from the hypnotic effect, especially during night-time driving either falling asleep on the wheel or so exhausted to make serious- and fatal-driving errors. The increasing number of traffic crashes due to a diminished driver's vigilance level has become a serious problem for society. Statistics show that 20% of all road traffic crashes and up to one-quarter of fatal and serious crashes are due to drivers with a diminished vigilance level.[11] Furthermore, crashes related to driver's hypovigilance are more serious than other types of crashes since sleepy drivers often do not take correct action before a collision.[10],[11],[13],[14]

Little is known about the driving experiences of commercial intercity drivers and the factors associated with the occurrence of road traffic crashes, hence, this study. This study assessed the determinants of road traffic crashes among intercity commercial drivers in Ile-Ife, Nigeria.


  Methods Top


The study area is Ile-Ife, Osun State. It is about 218 km Northeast of Lagos and has an estimated area of 1791 km[2] (692 mi[2]). The main city of Ife is divided into two local government areas: Ife East with headquarters at Oke-Ogbo and Ife central at Ajebandele area of the city. Both local government areas are composed of a total of 21 political wards. The city has an estimated population of 355,813. Ile-Ife is an ancient town in Yorubaland and is regarded as the cradle of civilisation. Geographically, Ile-Ife lies on longitude 4° 69'E and latitude 70° 50'N. The climate is tropical. Ile-Ife is home to the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University and Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex with an arm named Comprehensive Health Centre at Eleyele area of the town, a General Hospital at Oke-Ogbo, and 35 primary health-care facilities.

This was a descriptive cross-sectional study. The study population was made up of commercial intercity drivers in Ile-Ife. Participants involved in the study were a commercial intercity driver in Ile-Ife that were aged 18 years and above who gave consent to participate. Drivers who were not available during the study period were excluded.

The minimum sample size for the study was calculated using Leslie-Fischer's formula[15] for population >10,000:



n = Desired sample size

z = Standard normal deviate, usually set at 1.96

p = proportion in the target population estimated to have a characteristic. In this case, it was taken to be 32% (0.32), where over-speeding was the main cause of road traffic crashes from a previous study by Nangana et al. 2016.[14]

q = 1 − p = 68% (0.68)

d = degree of accuracy, usually set at 0.05



n = 334

Hence, the desired sample size was rounded off from 334 to 350.

Sampling technique

The list of major intercity motor parks was obtained from the National Union of Road Traffic Worker chairman, Ile-Ife Chapter and these parks were visited. On each visit to the motor parks, the intercity commercial drivers were approached consecutively to participate in this study after taken their informed consent.

Data collection

A pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire was used as the survey instrument. The questionnaire was developed by a review of literature, then, was pre-tested among commercial drivers within Ile-Ife. Areas of ambiguity in the questionnaire were noted and corrected appropriately. The questionnaire included the following sections: sociodemographic characteristics of respondents, their driving experience and practices and the occurrence of road traffic crashes.

The researchers consisted of final-year medical students trained in questionnaire administration that explained the purpose of the study to the respondents and assured them of the confidentiality of their responses and that their names need not be disclosed throughout data collection. Thereafter, the consent of each respondent was sought and obtained. Those that gave their consent were interviewed. The drivers were approached at their designated parks while the researchers met them one on one and administered the questionnaires.

Data analysis

The questionnaires were manually sorted out and entered into a computer and the obtained data were analysed using IBM Statistical Package for the Service Solutions (SPSS) version 20 (New York, United States of America). Descriptive and inferential statistics were done with results presented in tables and/or charts. A test of significance was conducted using appropriate statistical methods. Bivariate Chi-square test and logistic regression analysis were performed on commercial intercity drivers' characteristics and occurrence of road traffic crashes. The crude odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was then used to build a model between the outcome variable and the explanatory variables with P < 0.2. The main outcome variable was the occurrence of road traffic crashes, whereas the explanatory variables include their characteristics. The adjusted ORs (AORs) and their 95% CIs were calculated with P < 0.05.

Ethical considerations

Ethical approval was obtained from the Research and Ethics committee of the Institute of Public Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Permission for the study was obtained from the Head of Department; Department of Community Health; College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University; Ile-Ife, Osun State and the various National Union of Road Transport Workers Chairman at the various units.

Verbal and written consent was obtained from respondents and respondents signed on the questionnaire to also approve of their consent. All information gathered was kept confidential and participants were identified using only serial numbers.


  Results Top


A total of 350 intercity commercial drivers with a completed questionnaire were analysed. All respondents were male, mean age of 45.6 (10.6) years with a majority 44–64 years (50.3%), married (88.9%), had secondary education (57.4%) and earned above $5/month (94.3%) [Table 1].
Table I: Sociodemographic characteristics of respondents

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[Table 2] shows the driving experience and practices of the respondents. Only 28.3% attended driving school, 83.1% had a driving apprenticeship, 26.9% started driving <10 years, nearly all (95.4%) possessed current driving license and 65.4% drove more than 8 h daily with morning hours considered busiest (63.4%).
Table II: The driving experience and practices of the respondents

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[Table 3] shows the occurrence of road traffic crashes among respondents. Over one-third (36.7%) of the respondents had experienced road traffic crashes with 86.7% driving at the time of crashes. The identified causes of road traffic crashes include bad roads (37.5%), burst tyre (18.8%), over-speeding (18%) and brake failure (16.4%). Other causes include driving fatigue/sleeping while driving (14.1%), driving at night (14.1%) and environmental factors (13.3%). The outcome of road traffic crashes includes vehicular damage (75%), injury to passenger (45.3%) and driver (38.3%) with fatal (13.3%).
Table III: Occurrence of road traffic crashes among respondents

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[Table 4] shows the multivariate regression analysis of determinants of road traffic crashes among the study participants. The determinants of road traffic crashes include young age (AOR = 8.17; 95% CI = 4.15–17.7; P = 0.001), using sedatives (AOR = 6.49; 95% CI = 2.91–14.46; P = 0.001), alcohol use (AOR = 17.76; 95% CI = 8.72–36.16; P = 0.001), driving at night (AOR = 3.10; 95% CI = 1.41–6.78; P = 0.005) and driving over 8 h per day (AOR = 2.78; 95% CI = 1.40–5.53; P = 0.004).
Table IV: Multivariate regression analysis of determinants of road traffic crashes

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  Discussion Top


This study assessed the driving experience, practices, occurrence of road traffic crashes and its determinants among intercity commercial drivers in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. This study reported that all respondents were male, the majority were middle aged, had secondary education and earned income above the Nigerian minimum wage. This implies that the intercity commercial drivers interviewed were men in their most productive period with the majority having families to cater for. Several studies in middle and less-developed countries have reported high occurrences of road traffic crashes among the productive population.[2],[4],[11],[16] Hence, the loss of these drivers to disability or death from road traffic crashes have physical, psychological and economic effects on them, their families, community and country.

Most respondents had driving apprenticeship under another commercial driver but did not attend driving school. This informal form of learning driving is quite common among commercial drivers in Nigeria.[13],[17] However, nearly all possessed current driving license which is the legal requirement to drive.

Furthermore, most respondents started driving over 10 years before being interviewed. Some studies have reported differing duration of driving experience among drivers in Nigeria and elsewhere.[2],[17],[18],[19],[20],[21] Long driving duration increases the driving experience of drivers which therefore is expected to reduce road traffic crashes. However, it is debatable if this is the case as there are other factors which cause road traffic crashes in a less-developed country such as Nigeria.

Most commercial drivers drove over 8 h daily, especially in the mornings. Despite the majority having long driving experience, their concentration while driving will reduce with driving fatigue after driving for long hours. Studies have reported driving fatigue as a major cause of road traffic crashes, hence, efforts to reduce this factor must be put in place to ensure road safety.

Over one-third of the respondents had experienced road traffic crashes with the majority driving when crashes occurred. Okafor et al. in 2017 reported nearly half (47.9%) of the long-distance drivers studied to have experienced road traffic crashes in a study conducted in Edo State, a nearby state.[13]

The drivers reported that road traffic crashes were common with causes varying from bad roads to vehicular causes and driver reasons. These causes have been reported in previous studies in this environment; hence, there is a need to increase efforts in road safety to prevent the occurrence of road traffic crashes, especially since some of these crashes were fatal.[11],[13],[14],[19],[20],[21]

The determinants of these crashes include young age, using sedative, alcohol, driving at night, and driving over long hours. Several studies have reported some of these determinants, especially drug use and driving over long hours.[11],[14],[18],[19],[20],[21],[22] However, the occurrence of road crashes among young drivers, especially at night could be due to high risk taking by these drivers in poorly lighted bad roads.[9],[10],[11],[13]

This is one of the few studies on road safety in the study area; however, since the study is self-reported, it is prone to social desirability bias or record bias. This was however minimised by explaining the reason for the study to the respondents while ensuring their confidentiality.


  Conclusion Top


Road traffic crashes were common among commercial drivers with the determinants including young age, using sedative, alcohol, driving at night, and driving over long hours. To reduce these crashes, thereby increasing road safety, it is necessary to target these determinants.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
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Salaudeen AG, Durowade KA, Yusuf AS, Adeyemi MF. Practice of safety measures among inter-city commercial vehicle drivers in Kwara State, Nigeria. J Prev Med Hyg 2019;60:E158-62.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
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Okafor Ifeoma P, Odeyemi Kofoworola A, Dolapo Duro C. Knowledge of commercial bus drivers about road safety measures in Lagos, Nigeria. Ann Afr Med 2013;12:34-9.  Back to cited text no. 18
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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]



 

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