Factors Associated with Driving Behavior and Road Traffic Accidents among Public Vehicle Drivers in Kathmandu Valley: A Cross-sectional Study
Introduction: Vehicle drivers are most significant stakeholder in any road traffic accident (RTAs). This study aims to assess their knowledge related to traffic signs and attitude towards safe driving practices and to identify self-reported risky driving behaviors, their encounter of RTAs, and associated factors.
Methods: We carried out a cross-sectional study in Kathmandu valley. 14 prime spots were randomly selected and time location sampling was done. A face-to-face interview was done with public vehicle drivers using structured questionnaire. We analyzed the association using logistic regression. Ethical clearance was obtained from Institute of Medicine. Informed written consent was taken from the participants.
Results: Of 411 drivers, mean age was 31.8 (±8.2) years. All participants were male of which 71.0% lived in a joint family. More than half had less than 10 year experience and 20% of them were driving 12-18 hours per day. Half of them had good knowledge on traffic signs while nearly one tenth had non-supportive attitude towards safe driving practices. Prevalence of at least one risky driving behavior was 68%, however, only a few cases fined by traffic. Self-reported encounters of RTA were 21.7%; of these, 22.2% also had human injuries. Experiences of driving less than 10 years and living in a nuclear family were significantly associated with risky driving. Moreover, age of public vehicle drivers less than 25 years, living in nuclear family and continuing driving while fatigue were also significantly associated with RTAs.
Conclusion: Only half of drivers had good knowledge on traffic signs. Risky driving behavior present in about seven among ten public vehicle drivers and two among ten encountering RTAs. We recommend interventions targeted to change behavior among drivers to reduce risky driving behaviors, to increase age bar for permitting driving license for public vehicles and not continuing driving while fatigue to reduce RTAs.