Identifying psychological and socio-economic factors affecting motorcycle helmet use.Accid Anal Prev. 2015 Dec; 85:102-10.AA
Sixty percent of motorcyclist fatalities in traffic accidents of Iran are due to head injuries, but helmet use is low, despite it being a legal requirement. This study used face-to-face interviews to investigate the factors associated with helmet use among motorcycle riders in Mashhad city, the second largest city in Iran. Principal component analysis (PCA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were used for data reduction and identification of consistent features of the data. Ordered and multinomial logit analyses were used to quantify the influences on helmet use and non-use. The data show that 47% of the sample used a helmet, but a substantial proportion of these did not wear their helmet properly. In addition, 5% of motorcyclists believed that helmets reduced their safety. Norms, attitudes toward helmet use, risky traffic behavior and awareness of traffic rules were found to be the key determinants of helmet use, but perceptions of enforcement lacked influence. Duration of daily motorcycle trips, riding experience and type of job also affected helmet use. Results indicate that motorcyclist training, safety courses for offending motorcyclists and social programs to improve social norms and attitudes regarding helmet use are warranted, as are more effective law enforcement techniques, in order to increase proper use of helmets in Iranian motorcyclists. In addition, special safety courses should be considered for motorcyclists who have committed traffic violations.