Background Road traffic crashes (RTC) affect all age groups, but their impact is most striking on the young people. Sri Lanka is experiencing an epidemic of RTC. Information on the patterns of the crashes is essential to identify emerging issues and potential strategies, but few studies targeted on adolescents in Sri Lanka. The objective of this study is to describe the profile of non-fatal road traffic crashes among adolescents aged 16-18 years old in Galle, Sri Lanka and to explore related factors.
Methods We conducted a cross-sectional survey in 16 high schools in Galle, Sri Lanka during May-July, 2014. Students aged between 16–18 years old were selected to participate in the pencil-paper survey and reported their experience of RTC in the past 6 months. Descriptive analysis and logistic regression were performed by using STATA. Signed informed consents were given by all participants and the study was approved by IRB at Duke University and Ruhuna University.
Results 1370 adolescents (681 males and 689 females) with the average age 17.7 completed the survey. 206 (15.1%) respondents self-reported being involved in crashes in the past 6 months as victimised pedestrians (20.5%), cyclists (21.0%) and motorcycle passengers (25.7%). Among these victims, 47.1% often wear helmets and 15.1% often play on the roads. 25.7% of these crashes happened on the way between home and school. 98 and 7 respondents suffered minor or severe injuries respectively leading to on average 1.23 days off from the school. After controlled school as cluster, the regression model showed that males (OR = 1.58, 95% CI [1.19, 2.10]) and safe-road behaviours (OR = 0.78, 95% CI [0.71, 0.87]) were significantly associated with the crashes.
Conclusions RTC is one of the emerging threats to adolescents in Sri Lanka. More effective intervention should be targeted on adolescents to promote their safe behaviours on the roads and prevent them from road traffic injuries and deaths.
- road traffic crashes
- road behaviour
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