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An observational study of seatbelt use among vehicle occupants in Nigeria
  1. Adesola O Sangowawa1,
  2. Ben T Alagh2,
  3. Simeon E U Ekanem3,
  4. Idang P Ebong3,
  5. Babalola Faseru4,
  6. Babatunde J Adekunle3,
  7. Obioma C Uchendu3
  1. 1Institute of Child Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
  2. 2UNICEF Liberia, Sekou Toure Avenue Mamba Point, Monrovia, Liberia
  3. 3Department of Community Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
  4. 4Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas Medical Centre, Kansas, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Adesola Oluwafunmilola Sangowawa, Institute of Child Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, University Colege Hospital, PMB 5116, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria; daisyolu{at}


Objective The use of seatbelts reduces the likelihood of death and severe injuries to crash-involved vehicle occupants by 45–60%. Several countries, including Nigeria, have laws mandating the use of seatbelts but compliance is not universal. This study was conducted to determine rates of use of seatbelts among vehicle occupants in Ibadan municipality.

Design An observational study was conducted. A selected petrol station in each of the five local government areas in Ibadan municipality was used as an observation site. Observations were documented by trained research staff between 08:30 and 18:00 hours over a 6-day period.

Results 5757 occupants in 2870 vehicles were observed. Approximately 90% of drivers were men. Driver seatbelts were installed in approximately 90% of vehicles. Overall seatbelt use was 18.7; 31.7% among drivers and 10.3% and 0.4% among front and rear-seated adults, respectively. Only one child (0.7%) was restrained. Significantly more female drivers 47.3% used their seatbelts compared with men, 30.3% (p<0.001). An adult passenger was more likely to be restrained when riding with a female driver (p=0.007) and when the driver was restrained (p=0.000).

Conclusions The study showed that seatbelt use among vehicle occupants was low. Further research into reasons for the non-use of restraints needs to be conducted so that these can be incorporated into programmes aimed at improving seatbelt use.

  • Nigeria
  • seatbelt use
  • vehicle occupants

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  • AOS, SEUE and IPE were resident doctors at the Department of Community Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, at the time the study was conducted.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.