A.O. Olumide and E.T. Owoaje
Department of Community Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
Background: It is essential for drivers employed in the formal sector to have good knowledge of road safety in order to safeguard their lives and those of the staff they are employed to drive. The study was conducted to determine the effect of a road safety education intervention on road safety knowledge of drivers employed in the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
Methods: A quasi-experimental study of 98 intervention and 78 control drivers selected using a cluster sampling technique was conducted. The intervention comprised a two-day training on road safety and first aid. The drivers’ knowledge of road safety was measured at baseline, immediately and 4-months postintervention. Aggregate scores of road safety knowledge were computed giving minimum and maximum obtainable scores of 0 and 16 respectively. Change in mean scores over the three measurement periods was assessed using Repeated Measures Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Independent t-test was used to compare the scores between intervention and control drivers at each of the assessment periods. Twenty-nine drivers did not complete the study (attrition rate = 16.5%).
Results: At baseline, mean road safety knowledge scores for the intervention and control drivers were 12.7±2.2 and 12.9± 2.3 (p = 0.510) respectively. Immediately and four months post intervention, the scores of the intervention drivers were 13.8±1.9 and 12.8±1.6; while scores for the controls were 13.3±2.0 and 13.2±1.8. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed that the increase in knowledge over the three assessment periods was not statistically significant.
Conclusions: The intervention resulted in an initial increase in road safety knowledge of the intervention drivers. However, this was not sustained to the forth month post-intervention. This finding suggests periodic refresher trainings to sustain the knowledge acquired.
Keywords: Road safety knowledge; University drivers, Fleet safety, Road safety education
Dr. A.O. Olumide
Dept. of Community Medicine,
University College Hospital,
Globally, many people drive several hours to and from work on a daily basis and this exposes them to the risk of road crashes and ensuing injuries1. Those who drive for work are referred to as work-related drivers and have been described as, “individuals who drive at least once per week for work-related purposes”2. These drivers include truck drivers, couriers, police and emergency service drivers and sales people3. Other categories of work-related drivers described by Dimmer and Parker (1999) include, “senior executives provided with salary sacrificed vehicles, those who drive work-related vehicles both for work and nonwork purposes, and those employed to drive fleet cars, vans, or other specialist vehicles”4. Over the years, work-related driver safety has become recognized as a significant cause of morbidity and mortality resulting in significant human and economic losses5. In view of this, interventions to reduce the incidence of work related road crashes have been instituted2. It is essential for all road users including work-related drivers to have good road safety knowledge as this has been shown to influence driving behaviours and practices6,7. Some interventions to reduce work-related road crashes thus focus on educating the drivers about road safety issues and regulations2.
In Nigeria, anecdotal reports indicate that many formal sector establishments including government institutions and private companies employ a substantial population of drivers. Although there is ample research on injury incidence, road safety practices such as seatbelt and helmet use, road safety and first aid knowledge among commercial drivers and motorcyclists in Nigeria and other developing countries8-14, there is a paucity of published research on the road safety issues of drivers employed by formal establishments. This is in spite of the fact that (i) the job description of these drivers places them on the road for several hours where they are exposed to the risk of road crashes and (ii) their formal work-environment provides a unique opportunity for their employers to organize training in road safety measures for them as well as facilitate their compliance to road safety regulations.
A previous study on, “the effect of a road safety and first aid training intervention on the road safety knowledge and first aid knowledge and skills of commercial drivers’ plying the Lagos-Ibadan expressway”, demonstrated a significant increase in all outcomes following the training intervention8,15. Based on this, the current research was extended to involve work-related drivers in view of the paucity of published findings among them and the impact of work-related crashes on human development5. Our research hypothesis was to determine if a road safety education intervention would result in a change in the immediate post intervention road safety knowledge of the drivers. Additionally, we sought to determine if the increase in knowledge would be sustained over time. Our study findings will be beneficial for employers of large fleets who desire to develop and implement road safety interventions for their drivers. In addition, the findings will also be useful in developing road safety policies that will include other categories of drivers.