Motorists' knowledge, attitudes and practices toward alcohol-impaired driving/riding in Ghana.

14. Damsere-Derry, J., Palk, G., & King, M. (2017). Motorists' knowledge, attitudes and practices toward alcohol-impaired driving/riding in Ghana. Traffic injury prevention, 18(1), 28-34.

ABSTRACT

Objectives: The main objective of this study was to establish the knowledge, attitudes, and practices toward drink driving/riding as a risk factor for road traffic crashes in 3 regional capitals in Ghana.

Methods: The study used a face-to-face approach to randomly sample motorists who were accessing various services at fuel/gas stations, garages, and lorry terminals in 3 cities in Ghana.

Results: Over the previous 12 months, 24% of all motorists and 55% of motorists who were current alcohol users reported driving or riding a vehicle within an hour of alcohol intake. On average, motorists/riders who were current alcohol users consumed 4 standard drinks per drinking occasion. Generally, 83% of motorists who currently use alcohol walked, rode, or drove home after consuming alcohol away from their homes. Motorists/riders who reported drink driving were 4 times more likely to have had previous traffic violation arrests compared to those who reported no drink driving/riding (P =.001). Respondents were of the opinion that speeding was the major cause of traffic crashes, followed by driver carelessness, poor road conditions, inexperienced driving, and drink driving, in that order. Thirty-six percent of motorists who use alcohol had the perception that consuming between 6 and 15 standard drinks was the volume of alcohol that will take them to the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of 0.08%. Compared to females, male motorists/riders were more likely to report drink driving (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 5.15; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.31 to 11.47). Private motorists also reported a higher likelihood of drink driving compared to commercial drivers (AOR = 3.36; 95% CI, 1.88 to 6.02). Only 4% of motorists knew the legal BAC limit of Ghana and only 2% had ever been tested for drink driving/riding.

Conclusion: The volumes of alcohol that motorists typically consume per drinking occasion were very high and their estimates of the number of drinks required to reach the legal BAC limit was also very high. Provision of authoritative information advising motorists about safe, responsible, or low-risk levels of alcohol consumption is imperative. Many traffic violations including drink driving were reported, thus suggesting a need for enhanced policing and enforcement. However, given the low level of knowledge of the legal BAC limit, educating motorists about how many drinks will approximate the legal BAC should be intensified prior to an increase in enforcement; otherwise, the desired outcome of enforcement may not be achieved.

KEYWORDS: Alcohol, BAC, driver behavior, impairment, road safety, police, motorcyclist, driver

 

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