Background: The facts are not in dispute. Globally, road traffic injuries (RTIs) are one of the three leading causes of death among people aged 5 to 44 years and responsible for 1.35 million annual deaths and 20-50 million non-fatal injuries. In sub-Saharan Africa, the burden of RTIs is disproportionately high among commercial motorcycle users. However, region-specific associated factors that predispose crash and injury among commercial motorcycle users are not fully understood. The objectives of this dissertation were to: 1) Estimate the prevalence of crashes and examine associated factors among commercial motorcycle riders and passengers; 2) Estimate injury prevalence and identify associated factors among commercial motorcycle riders; and 3) Provide an overview of patterns, severity, and post-crash management of injuries among commercial motorcycle riders.
Methods: From July 12 to 26, 2017, a cross-sectional study collected data from 829 consented commercial motorcycle riders and passengers in Bamenda, Cameroon. Participants aged 18 years or older were administered a questionnaire about demographics, crash, and injury characteristics. In addition, participants involved in a crash reported information related to the most severe crash and the most recent crash within the past 12 months, when applicable.
Results: A total of 67.2% commercial motorcycle users (77.4% riders, 46.3% passengers) were ever involved in a crash. The prevalence of crash involvement among commercial motorcycle users within the past 12 months was 17.9% (21.5% riders, 5.7% passengers). Among riders ever involved in a crash, 80.8% sustained one or more anatomic injuries amounting to 685 injuries. In addition, 80.2% of riders sustained one or more anatomic injuries at the most recent crash within the past 12 months for a total of 112 injuries. Findings from this dissertation showed that speeding riders who currently smoked, carried more than two passengers, and had three or more years of riding experience were at increased odds of crash involvement. Furthermore, most injuries sustained were to the extremities and head and neck anatomic regions with abrasions, swellings, and lacerations as the most common types of injuries.
Conclusion: This study offers insight to the elevated crash and injury burden among commercial motorcycle users and associated factors. Findings suggest the importance of additional research efforts focused on strategies to prevent crash and mitigate injury.