- Background to the Study
Transportation is a basic and indispensable component of all human endeavour, and has strong influence on the interrelations that exist when people with common interests live together. It plays a major function in the continued existence of urban communities by forming the basis for interaction, vocation, leisure and choice of residence (Oluwaseyi, Edward, Eyinda, &Okoko, 2014). Once a nation truly decides to embark on a large scale development of its transportation system, it must ensure that it not only improves access to the citizens’ places of vocation and residential areas, but in a safe and healthy manner, such that the risks of death and long-term disabilities are eliminated or reduced to the barest minimum (Lukasik and Szymanek, 2012).
Nigeria has sought to develop its own transport system that would meet global standards. Various motorized means of transportation have been employed, including buses, mini-buses, and cabs. These conventional means of public transportation were besieged by recurring and worsening problems such as rapid industrialization, poorly planned urbanization, collapsing infrastructure and road networks, population explosion despite progressively decreasing number of vehicles leading to congestion, prolonged waiting and travelling times at bus stations, and inadequate security. This need made the demand for motorcycle higher among many commuters who usually had to struggle to get transported to and from their residential or official quarters (Olubomehin, 2012). It was due to the failure of the regular means of commuting from one part to another that led to the emergence and perpetuation of the commercial motorcycle as an established mode of transportation in Nigeria. The motorcycle operators are part of the communities in Nigeria and this has made access to them easier (Olubomehin, 2012). An estimated 70 percent of urban and semi-urban Nigerian cities depend on commercial motorcycle for transportation within and around the town (Oluwaseyiet al, 2014).
The spread of the commercial motorcycle vocation was also fuelled by the relatively cheaper spare parts, maintenance costs and greater fuel economy which have increased the patronage and made it a thriving vocation (Olubomehin, 2012).Motorcycle crashes continue to add to the increasing fatality and permanent-disability figures annually. Globally, deaths linked with motorcycle accidents is about 1.2 million while about 50 million injuries are linked with motorcycle accidents yearly, while about half of the people involved in fatal road traffic accidents are pedestrians, motorcycle operators or commuters on motorcycles (Oluwaseyiet al., 2014). It appears that the prevalence of motorcycle-related traffic crashes is directly proportional to the increasing number of motorcycle operators in the nation.Also, for every unit of distance travelled, motorcycles cause far more fatal and permanently-damaging accidents than regular vehicles (Olubomehin, 2012).
Risky behaviour is described as series of activities and lifestyles behaviours that makes a person to be vulnerable to injury that could cause disability (temporary or permanent) or instant death depending on the severity of the injury. It could also mean exposing oneself to danger or possibility of injury or death. This risky behaviour among the motorcycle operators has led to the labelling of the motorcycle as the most dangerous of all motorized means of transportation. Due to the prevailing unemployment and youths’ underemployment in the country, and the relative lucrative nature of the business, it provides an easier and non-formal means of livelihood for many unemployed youths in the face of poverty and inflation. Thus the quest for survival, economically and socially, has forced many unemployed youths to become motorcycle operators, even though a good proportion of them are often untrained or sometimes untrainable due to their poor level of knowledge (Onifade, Aduradola, &Amao, 2012). Unemployed youths now utilize commercial motorcycles for income generation by transporting passengers on roads that are not motorable in remote cities and villages. This mode of transportation became popular and its acceptance began to climb steadily among the populace.
Commercial motorcycle also became popular due to the easy maneuverability in the often chaotic road environments and its low cost relative to four-wheeled vehicles. It now serves as one of the key means of transportation in Nigeria as it provides the citizens with a cheap transportation network. Even in remote villages, the motorcycle operators arrive at regular intervals and are used by all ages and classes of people(Abdussalam&Wahab, 2014). However, the spread of the commercial motorcycle vocation has also resulted in an upsurge in the number of accidents, some of which have resulted into loss of lives and permanent disabilities in the survivors. Motorcycle crashes continue to add to the increasing fatality and permanent disability figures annually. Globally, approximately 1.2 million fatalities and 50 million injuries are linked with motorcycle accidents every year, while about half of the people involved in fatal road traffic accidents are pedestrians, motorcycle operators or commuters on motorcycles (Oluwaseyiet al., 2014). It appears that the prevalence of motorcycle-related traffic crashes has increased in direct proportion to the increasing number of commercially-operated motorcycles in the nation. However, it appears that for every unit of distance travelled, motorcycles cause far more fatal and permanently-damaging accidents than regular vehicles (Olubomehin, 2012), making the motorcycle the most dangerous of all mechanical means of transportation.
In a study in south-western Nigeria (Ogunmodede, Adio, Ebiejuwa, Oyetola, & Akinola,2012), it was discovered that significant contributing factors to the causes of road traffic accidents among motorcycle operators in Nigeria were over-speeding, wrong over-taking, bad roads, sudden mechanical defects, ingestion of alcoholic beverages, non-compliance with road safety highway codes, over-loading by carrying more than one passenger, skidding off a bend due to excess speed or under-cornering, absence of functional horn and headlamps, riding without crash helmet, and riding against the traffic. These account for 95% of the causes of permanent disability and death of motorcycle accident victims (Ogagaoghene, 2011, Ogunmodedeet al., 2012).
Motorcycle accidents, when they occur, could lead to brain injury or severe trauma as the head violently hits the ground or other objects during the collision resulting in convulsion and other severe conditions (Ogunmodede&Akangbe, 2013). Many of these motorcycle operators sometimes know that some of their actions and risky behaviours could result in unpleasant outcomes, but they fail to act or do anything to remedy the situation, thus making themselves and their passengers prone to certain harm or death. There is need for motorcycle operators to be educated on the unpleasant manifestations of the risky behaviours which causes increase in annual motorcycle accidents.Therefore, this study is designed to investigate the effect of a nurse – led training on risky behaviours among motorcycle operators with the aim of reducing to the barest minimum the grim statistics of motorcycle road crashes.