Risky behaviors and helmet use among young adolescent motorcyclists in Southern Thailand.Traffic Inj Prev. 2016; 17(1):80-5.TI
In Thailand, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for youth ages 15-19 years, with 80% of the injuries and deaths from motorcycle accidents.
To determine the prevalence of child and young adolescent motorcyclists in Hat Yai municipality and their risk behaviors.
A cross-sectional study was conducted between June 2011 and March 2012 in which 2,471 students, ages 8 to 18 years, were recruited from 9 primary and secondary schools in Hat Yai municipality. The questionnaire included questions on being a motorcycle rider or passenger, risky behaviors, and helmet use while riding.
Of the total, 1,573 (63.7%) were riders and 898 (36.3%) were pillion passengers. The majority of the riders younger than 15 years rode their motorcycle mainly only in narrow streets for a short trip. Only 30% of the riders wore a helmet every time they rode a motorcycle. About 10% of the participants riding or a passenger on a motorcycle had consumed alcohol at least once before riding their motorcycle. Multiple logistic regression analysis found that motorcycle injuries were significantly associated with speeds greater than 60 km/h, not wearing a helmet while riding, and alcohol consumption before riding (odds ratios 1.63, 1.59, and 3.09, respectively).
Nearly two thirds of young adolescents in Hat Yai municipality were motorcycle riders. These young adolescents were at risk of traffic injuries because more than 50% of them had ridden at high speed or not worn a helmet while riding, and some of them had consumed alcohol before riding.