Background This study assessed helmet use and motorcycle crash injuries (MCI) incidence among pillion passengers in Nigeria.
Methodology This cross-sectional study conducted in 2009 adopted a multi-stage random sampling technique. A questionnaire was used to obtain information from 122 respondents. Observed helmet use among the passengers was also documented.
Results Respondents mean age was 28.87.96 years, majority (51.6%)were females, 57.9% were single. About 60% of respondents frequently rode on commercial motorcycles. About 77% of the passengers reported never using helmet, and none of them was observed wearing a helmet while riding. Reasons for non use of helmet among passengers were non-availability of helmets (34.4%), fear of being hypnotised and kidnapped for nefarious purposes (20.5%) and 25.4% did not like it. Forty-seven percent of respondents had ever been involved in a motorcycle crash and about 20% had been involved in a crash in the year of the study. In 83% of the crashes, the rider was carrying more than one passenger. In 58.7% of instances, the passenger sustained injury to the leg, 26.1% involved the hand and 6.5% affected the head. Majority (75%) of the injuries were bruises.
Conclusion Observed helmet use among the passengers was nil. There was also a high incidence of motorcycle crashes and subsequent injuries. Enhanced awareness on the importance of helmet use, ensuring the availability of standard helmet and enforcement of the helmet law are needed to address these concerns.
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