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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 111-115

Visual acuity assessment and the knowledge of road safety rules among commercial motorcyclist in Ekpoma town, Southern Nigeria


1 Department of Community Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Delta State University, Abraka, Abraka, Delta State, Nigeria
3 Department of Ophthalmology, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State, Nigeria

Date of Submission06-Jul-2018
Date of Decision04-Sep-2018
Date of Acceptance08-Oct-2018
Date of Web Publication04-Feb-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Innocent O Alenoghena
Department of Community Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State
Nigeria
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DOI: 10.4103/ssajm.ssajm_20_18

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  Abstract 


Introduction: Motorcycle injuries, particularly from low income countries like Africa and Asia contribute significantly to road traffic injuries globally, according to recent estimates by the World Health Organization. Objective: To determine the prevalence of visual acuity disorders, knowledge of road safety rules and one-year prevalence of road crashes in male commercial motorcyclists. Methodology: Male commercial motorcyclists numbering 191 were selected from the motorcycles’ parks in Ekpoma, using a multi-staged random sampling technique. Structured interviewer administered questionnaires were used for data collection. Data were analysed using SPSS version 20. Results: A vast majority 189 (99.0%) of respondents had good visual acuity (with visual acuity of between 6/5 and 6/18), Just one percent of the respondents had poor visual acuity (between 6/24 to 6/60). Most respondents 122 (63%) had a good knowledge of road safety rules while 42.9% had been involved in at least a road traffic crash within a year prior to the survey. Knowledge of road safety rules showed a statistically significant association with the educational status of the respondents (P<0.001), but had no association with other socio demographic variables like age (P=0.184), marital status (P=0.298) and religion (P=0.511) in respondents. Conclusion: Majority of the male motorcyclist had visual acuity within the normal range, knowledge of road safety rules was good among respondents with the level of education identified as a significant predictor of knowledge Inclusion of at least primary school educational qualification as criteria for all motorcyclists and a proper medical examination of prospective motorcyclists before issuance of driver licenses.

Keywords: Edo state, knowledge, motorcyclists, visual acuity


How to cite this article:
Alenoghena IO, Awunor N, Ovienra W. Visual acuity assessment and the knowledge of road safety rules among commercial motorcyclist in Ekpoma town, Southern Nigeria. Sub-Saharan Afr J Med 2019;6:111-5

How to cite this URL:
Alenoghena IO, Awunor N, Ovienra W. Visual acuity assessment and the knowledge of road safety rules among commercial motorcyclist in Ekpoma town, Southern Nigeria. Sub-Saharan Afr J Med [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 May 25];6:111-5. Available from: http://www.ssajm.org/text.asp?2019/6/3/111/277780




  Introduction Top


Estimates by the WHO reveal that about 1.2 million die and 50 million are injured yearly from road traffic injuries. Motorcycle injuries contribute significantly to this figures and a greater part of the burden falls on low-income countries such as Africa and Asia. The risk of dying from motorcycle crash is 20 times higher than from a motor vehicle crash.[1],[2],[3] The increasing use of motorcycles in recent times as a means of public intracity transportation in a number of developing countries is apparently the reason for this alarming trend.[1]

Poor vision has been reported to be a contributor to the increasing road traffic injuries attributable to motorcycles.[2],[3] Vision is commonly accessed using a simple test called visual acuity, which measures the physiological and pathological state of the optical components of the eyes.[4]

The ability of a motorcyclist to see the features of an object he or she is looking at, such as color, shapes, size, depth, contrast, if deficient or below the expected standard, reduces safety and increase the risk of a possible crash.[5] A driver’s visual acuity must at least be such that he or she is able to see, so as to react appropriately to obstacles, pedestrians, other vehicles, and signs while moving at the maximum posted speed whether in daylight or at night.[6]

The objective of this study was to assess visual acuity disorders, and the knowledge of road safety rules by male commercial motorcyclists in Ekpoma, Edo State.


  Methodology Top


The study was conducted in Ekpoma, Edo State, located in South South region of Nigeria.

Ekpoma is located in the heart of the tropical rain forest and lies between longitude 6.14″E and latitude 6.74″N of the equator. It has a projected population of 125,842 inhabitants based on 2006 national census for Nigeria. There are four major parks in Ekpoma, which serve both for vehicles and motorcycles and 12 subsidiary parks, exclusively for motorcycle.[7] Male commercial motorcyclists numbering 191 were selected “exclusively” from the motorcycle parks in Ekpoma, using a multistaged random sampling technique.

The minimum sample size (n) was determined using the following formula[8]:



where Z is the standard normal deviate set at 1.96, p is the proportion of population with attribute = 12.8% (0.128),[9] q is the proportion without attribute, 1−p = 1−0.128 = 0.872, d is the margin of error = 0.05,



A total of 10% attrition was added for nonresponses.

10% of 171.5 = 17.15

Total sample size = 171.5 + 17.15 = 188.65 ≈ 189

A total of 191 motorcyclists were however selected for the study.

Sampling technique

Respondents were selected using a multistage sampling technique.

First, balloting was used to select six parks from the 12 parks for motorcyclists. The selected parks were Ambrose Alli (with 39 respondents), Irrua Motor park (with 30 motorcyclists), Igueben Motor park (with 34 respondents), Emuadu park (with 35 motorcyclists), Opoji Junction park (with 24 motorcyclist), and Alli Square park (with 19 respondents).

Second, the selected parks were stratified and the respective motorcyclists were recruited proportional to the population size of the park.

Data collection and analysis

A structured interviewer administered questionnaire was used for data collection. Visual acuity of respondents was determined using the Snellen chart.

The Snellen chart was hung at distance of 20 ft (6 m) from the participant with the participant in a sitting position. The visual acuity was taken unaided, aided where the subject has spectacle correction and with a pinhole disc in place where the visual acuity was less than 20/20 (6/6). An opaque plastic occluder was used to cover the left eye of the participant while he is asked to read aloud the letters on the Snellen chart from the biggest to the smallest letter with the right eye. The same procedure was repeated for the left eye with the right eye covered. Visual acuity of 6/4 was considered eagle’s vision, 6/5 was considered a better vision, whereas 6/6 and 6/9 were considered normal and good vision, respectively. When the denominator is higher than 9 but not more than 18, it was considered as a subnormal vision, and when higher than 18, it was considered as a poor vision. In addition, they were asked to identify road signs printed out in large format colored pictures. These were also entered into the interviewer administered questionnaires. Data were analyzed using the IBM SPSS statistics for windows, version 20 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY, USA).

Ethical consideration

Ethical approval was obtained from the Ethics and Research Committee of Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, and written informed consent was obtained from the respondents before participating in the study.


  Results Top


A total of 191 questionnaires were analyzed (response rate of 100%), and six motorcycle parks were assessed in this study.

[Table 1] shows the sociodemographic characteristics of the respondents. Most of the respondents were within the ages of 21 and 30 years (with a mean age and standard deviation of 34.4 and 6.1 years, respectively), and most of the respondents, 160 (83.8%) had at least primary education. Esan was the predominant ethnic group, 122 (63.9%), and 52.4% of them were married.
Table 1 Sociodemographic characteristics of respondents (N = 191)

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[Table 2] reveals the visual acuity of the respondents. About half of the respondents 50.8% and 55.5% had a visual acuity of 6/6 for the left and right eyes, respectively. Only one respondent had a visual acuity of 6/60 on the right eye.
Table 2 Visual acuity assessment of respondents

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[Figure 1] shows the knowledge of road safety signs by the respondents. The Stop sign was the most recognized road safety sign, 167 (87.4%). This was closely followed by the traffic sign, 140 (73.3%). The least recognized road safety sign by the respondent was the parking sign 48 (25.1%).
Figure 1: Knowledge of road safety signs by respondents (N = 191)

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[Table 3] shows the logistic regression model for determinants of knowledge of road safety rules by respondents. Level of education of the respondents was identified as a significant predictor of knowledge (odds ratio = 0.04, 95% confidence interval: 0.000, 0.280).
Table 3 Select characteristics and knowledge of safety rules by respondents

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  Discussion Top


The motorcycle has become ubiquitous as an important means of public intracity and rural transportation in a number of low-income developing countries. It also offers a means of nonformal employment to young men, as commercial motorcyclist, with an associated increasing prevalence of road traffic crashes.

The mean age of the respondents in this survey was 34.43 years with an age range of 18 to 50 years. Over two-third of the respondents had at least a secondary education. This provides the opportunity of improved uptake of road traffic signs and rules. Ekpoma, the study area, is home to a university with numerous secondary and primary school providing opportunity for attainment of at least a secondary level of education. The job of a commercial motorcyclist could be a temporary measure in securing a more certain job by these respondents and thus having at least a secondary level of education improves access to formal employment opportunities.

Barely 1% of the respondents had poor visual acuity (within a range of 6/24 to 6/60), whereas 99.0% had good vision, with visual acuity ranging from 6/5 to 6/18. Understandably, ocular degenerative changes and prevalence of visual acuity disorders increases with increasing age[10],[11]; however, most of the respondents in this occupation group were young men (<40 years). This finding was similar to previous studies conducted by Ovienseri-Ogbomo et al.[12] in Cape Coast Municipality, Ghana, in which 1.2% of the respondents had poor visual acuity and which was similar to findings by Korir,[13] in Kenya. This was however at variance with findings from a study by Alakija[14] in South South Nigeria in which up to 31.7% of respondents with poor visual acuity were between the ages of 27 and 38 years.Two-third of the respondents had a good knowledge of road safety rules. This may not be unrelated to the fact that most of the respondents (about three quarter) had a minimum of secondary education. This finding was in keeping with a previous study by Okojie et al.,[15] in which 82.1% of the respondents had at least a secondary school education. But it was at variance with findings from a study conducted in Kenya[13] and South Western Nigeria,[16] where up to 79% and 62.3% of the respondents had primary or no education, respectively.

The level of education was found to be an influential contributor to the level of knowledge of road safety rules, which was statistically significant.

In conclusion, visual acuity among the vast majority of male motorcyclist in Ekpoma was largely within the normal range. Overall, the knowledge of road safety rules was good, with the level of education identified as a predictor of good knowledge on road safety rules by respondents. Inclusion of basic knowledge of road safety rules as criteria and a proper medical examination of prospective motorcyclists before issuance of driver licenses is recommended.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Peden M, Scurfield R, Sleet D, editors. World report on road traffic injury prevention. Geneva: World Health Organization 2004.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Solagberu Ba Ofoegbu CKP, Nasir AA, Ogundikpe OK, Adekanye AO. Motorcycle injuries in a developing country and the vulnerability of riders, passengers, and pedestrians. BMJ 2006;12:266-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Chalya PL, Mabula JB, Ngayomela IH, Kanumba ES, Chandika AB, Giiti G et al. Motorcycle injuries as an emerging public health problem in Mwanza City, North-Western Tanzania. Tanzan J Health Res 2010;12:214-21.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Nzegwu MA, Akhiwu W, Nzegwu CO, Banjo AA, Aligbe JU. Analysis of patterns of morbidity and mortality amongst pedestrians involved in Road Traffic Accident in Benin City, Nigeria. Adv Biores 2011; 2:144–7.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Starkey P. The benefits and challenges of increasing motorcycle use for rural access. In: International conference on transport and road research. Kenya: Kenya Road Board; 2016. pp 2-17.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Naddumba EK. A cross sectional retrospective study of boda boda injuries at Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda. East Cent Afr J Surg 2004;9:44-7.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Esan West Local Government Area Edo State, Nigeria. Local Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (LEEDS). In: National Population Commission, editor. Ekpoma: National Population Commission; 2008. pp 1-95.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Araoye MO. Research methodology with statistics for health and social sciences. 2nd ed. Ilorin: Nathadex Publishers; 2004. pp 117-9.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Ukponmwan CU, Dawodu OA, Edema OF, Okogie O. Prevalence of pterygium and pingueculum among motorcyclists in Nigeria. East Afr Med J 2007;84:516-21.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Islam MB, Kanitpong K. Identification of factors in road accidents through in-depth accident analysis. IATSS Res 2008;32:58-67.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Hurt Jr HH, Ovellet JV, Thom DR. Motorcycle accident cause factors and identification of countermeasures, volume 1: Technical report. Washington: U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington D.C. 20590; 1981. pp 1-20.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Ovienseri-Ogbomo GO, Abraham CH, Kio FE. Visual impairment and ocular findings among deaf and hearing impaired school children in central region, Ghana. J Med Biomed Sci 2013;2:16-22.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Korir FK. Vision among boda boda motorcycle riders in Kisumu. Nairobi: University of Nairobi, Kenya; 2012.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Alakija W. Poor visual acuity of taxi drivers as a possible cause of motor traffic accidents in Bendel state, Nigeria. Occup Med 1981;31:167-70.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Okojie OH, Omuemu VO, Ighodaro JN. Characteristics of commercial motorcyclists in Benin City: Implications for road safety. J Med Biomed Res 2006;5:58-63.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
Fasina O, Bekibele CO. Visual outcome of uveitic cataract in Ibadan. Afr J Med Med Sci 2010;39:323-8.  Back to cited text no. 16
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]



 

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