Effect of free distribution of safety equipment on usage among motorcycle-taxi drivers in Tanzania--A cluster randomised controlled trial.
INTRODUCTION: Deaths due to road traffic injuries, particularly motorcycle crashes, have increased rapidly in many African nations and context-specific strategies to improve preventative behaviours are needed. Although adhering to conspicuity measures by wearing reflective safety vests is a highly effective crash prevention strategy and mandated by law among motorcycle-taxi drivers in some African countries, actual use is currently low. We aimed to test whether eliminating cost-barriers through the provision of free reflective, fluorescent motorcycle safety vests would lead to increased utilisation among a high-risk population of motorcycle-taxi drivers in Tanzania. METHODS: A cluster randomised controlled trial was conducted among 180 motorcycle-taxi drivers. Participants randomised to the intervention arm (90) received free, reflective, fluorescent vests; participants randomised to the control arm (90) did not receive free vests. Participants' use of reflective vests was then observed on city streets over a three month period and differential uptake was estimated using mixed-effects logistic regression. RESULTS: Baseline use of reflective vests was 3.3% in both arms. Seventy-nine drivers in the intervention arm and 82 drivers in the control arm were observed during follow-up. The average proportion of observations during which motorcycle drivers were using a reflective vest was 9.5% in the intervention arm, compared to 2.0% in the control arm (odds ratio: 5.5, 95% confidence interval: 1.1-26.9, p-value: 0.04). CONCLUSION: Although distribution of free reflective vests led to a statistically significant increase in vest usage, the absolute increase was modest. Additional strategies beyond removing economic barriers are important to augment adherence to road safety behaviours for injury prevention.
Sumner, SA; Pallangyo, AJ; Reddy, EA; Maro, V; Pence, BW; Lynch, C; Turner, EL; Egger, JR; Thielman, NM
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