acta satech Journal of the Life & Physical Sciences Babcock

Perceptions and Attitudinal Disposition of Commercial Motorcycle Passengers towards Helmet Use in a Nigerian Metropolitan Suburb
aBanjo T., bNwaze E. & a*Aja G. N. D
aDepartment of Public & Allied Health, Babcock University, Nigeria bFederal Ministry of Health, Abuja
Accepted: September 8, 2011

The increasing risk of motorcycle accidents in developing countries poses a particular threat to the lives of commercial motorcycle passengers (CMPs) and riders. To help protect against head injuries arising from motorbike accidents, many countries, including Nigeria have formulated national helmet laws. However, there is a paucity of data on CMPs perceptions and attitudinal disposition to helmet use. This cross sectional study examined CMPs demographic characteristics and responses to eleven positive and negative statements relating to their perceptions and attitude towards helmet use. Two hundred and fifty residents of a gated residential area close to a nearby commercial motorcycle park in Ikorodu commercial suburb of Lagos State participated in the study by completing a pilot tested 18-item survey questionnaire. Data analysis showed that respondents were mostly secondary school females, Christians, singles, and aged 15-19 years old. The mean score for each of the eleven statements was calculated based on a scale where, for positive statements, 1 means strongly disagree and 4 means strongly agree and for negative statements, 1 means strongly agree and 4 means strongly disagree. Respondents’ mean score on the positive statement that “motorcycle helmet use protects against head injury is highest (3.56±0.6), followed by the statements, I use materials like handkerchief and scarf before wearing a motorcycle helmet (3.29±0.7), every motorcycle passenger should have a helmet of his/her own (3.25±0.9), helmet use transmits diseases from one passenger to another (3.22±0.8), I prefer to have helmet of my own (3.20±0.8), use of motorcycle helmets by passengers can transmit disease from one person to another (3.16±1.0), motorcycle helmet can affect my hairstyle or mode of dressing (3.02±0.9) and it is okay to use helmets provided by motorcycle riders (2.20±1.3).” Respondents’ mean score on the negative statements that “it is okay to pretend to be wearing a helmet when I’m not (2.38±0.8) is highest, followed by it is okay to use anything to cover my head as long as it looks like a helmet (2.24±1.1) and helmet use can cause headache (2.19±1.2).” Rather than focus more on enforcement of helmet laws, user (passenger) perspectives and preferences with regards to helmet convenience and related health concerns need to be carefully considered in future traffic policy development and implementation.
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