LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2013 | Volume
: 3 | Issue : 1 | Page : 96--97
Behaviour related to safe driving among college youth in an industrial township
Vandana B Nikumb1, Amitav Banerjee2, Surya Kumar Singh2,
1 Department of Community Medicine, Terna Medical College, Nerul, Navi Mumbai, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, D. Y. Patil Medical College, Pune, India
Department of Community Medicine, D. Y. Patil Medical College, Pune - 411 018
|How to cite this article:|
Nikumb VB, Banerjee A, Singh SK. Behaviour related to safe driving among college youth in an industrial township.Int J Crit Illn Inj Sci 2013;3:96-97
|How to cite this URL:|
Nikumb VB, Banerjee A, Singh SK. Behaviour related to safe driving among college youth in an industrial township. Int J Crit Illn Inj Sci [serial online] 2013 [cited 2020 Jan 19 ];3:96-97
Available from: http://www.ijciis.org/text.asp?2013/3/1/96/109435
Road traffic accident is the leading cause of premature deaths and disability among the young. Rapid industrialization and affluence leading to increasing number of motor vehicles on congested roads are few determinants of road traffic accidents. These determinants interplay against the background of 'unsafe behavior.
We carried out a cross-sectional study among college going youth.
A random sample of 200 college going students (112 males and 88 females aged 17-25 years) was selected in industrial township Pimpri, Pune, India. Information about traffic knowledge and behavior was collected by interview.
We explored the awareness of the youth regarding safety measures such as helmets and seatbelts, the gap between knowledge of protective effect of seatbelts and helmets and their actual use, use of cell phones while driving (a recent menace), driving while under effect of alcohol (an old menace), the proportion who hold 'valid' driving license and hazardous acts such as speed driving and performing stunts.
Knowledge safety measures (seatbelt and helmet): Majority (96.43% of males and 98.86% of females) respondents had knowledge about safety measures such as seatbelts, helmets and not using mobiles while driving.
Gap between knowledge and practice:Though more than 97% respondents were aware about the safety measures, few of the respondents actually observed safety measures. Only 18.35% of males and 14.09% of females always wore helmets while driving two-wheelers and 33.64% of males and 41.86% always used seatbelts while driving four- wheelers. More female drivers (36.36% sometimes, 3.41% frequently) tended to use the cell phone while driving compared to male respondents (17.86% sometimes, 0.89% frequently).
Frequency of drinking and driving:More males (10.71% sometimes, 10.71% very often) tended to drink compared to females (3.41% sometimes, 1.14% very often).
Proportion of drivers not holding a valid driving license:An appreciable proportion (22.5%) of young people driving was not having a valid driving license.
Speed driving and/or performance of stunts:More males (30.36%) than females (5.68%) reported in speed driving and performance of stunts.
Implications of our findings
Vehicular crashes are the leading cause of fatalities in young people in developing as well as developed countries. , The gap between knowledge and behavior needs to be explored further to enhance safety behavior among young drivers. Others have also reported adequate knowledge of young people regarding safety behavior which does not translate into practice.  Measuring attitudes and behavior is more challenging. Lack of valid instruments to measure risk-taking attitudes makes it difficult.  Cell phones are emerging global hazard in road traffic accidents. Ginburg et al.  in a study among young people reported 57% witnessed it frequently.
While cell phone use is an emerging hazard for road traffic accidents, age old hazard of driving while under influence of alcohol continues. Studies have established the association of alcohol use with road traffic injuries. Woratanarat et al.  in a case control study significantly higher odds of alcohol as risk factor for road traffic accident. Another hazardous behavior observed in the present study was an appreciable proportion of young people (>20%), were driving without a proper valid driving license. Blackman et al.  in their study reported that 12.8% of traffic crashes involved an unlicensed driver.
Performance of stunts and speed driving are avoidable hazards among young people. Jonah  has carried out an extensive review of literature exploring the link between sensation seeking and risky driving.
Knowledge about safety measures does not lead to safe behavior among youth as regards prevention of morbidity and mortality from road traffic accidents.
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