Risky behavior of drivers of motorized two wheeled vehicles in India

J Safety Res. 2006;37(2):149-58. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2005.11.002. Epub 2006 May 2.


Introduction: Motorized two-wheeled vehicles (MTV) account for a large proportion of road traffic in India and the riders of these vehicles have a high risk of road traffic injuries. We report on the availability of drivers licenses, use of a helmet, driver behavior, and condition of vehicles for MTV drivers in Hyderabad, a city in India

Methods: Drivers of a MTV aged >16 years were interviewed at petrol filling stations

Results: There were 4,183 MTV drivers who participated in the study. Four hundred sixty one (11%; 95% CI 9.7-12.3%) drivers had not obtained a drivers license and 798 (21.4%) had obtained a license without taking the mandatory driving test. Two thousand nine hundred twenty (69.8%; 95% CI 67.9-71.7%) drivers reported no/very occasional use of a helmet, the significant predictors of which included that those driving borrowed a MTV (odds ratio 7.90; 95% CI 3.40-18.40) or driving moped/scooterette/scooter as compared with motorcycle (3.32; 2.76-3.98), lower education (3.10; 2.66-3.61), age >45 years (2.41; 1.63-3.57), and males (1.57; 1.16-2.13). Two thousand five hundred and eight (59.9%) drivers reported committing a traffic law violation at least once within the last 3 months. Overall, 1,222 (29.2%) drivers reported ever being caught by traffic police for a traffic law violation with data on violations available for 1,205 of these drivers, of whom 680 (56.4%) paid a fine, 310 (25.7%) paid by bribe, and 215 (17.8%) made no payment. The proportion of those who did not make payment for committed violation was significantly higher among females (46.8%) than males (16.3%). Two thousand fifty two (49%) of all MTVs had no rearview mirror

Conclusions: These data suggest the need to enact and enforce policy interventions for improving the drivers license system, mandatory use of a helmet, effective traffic law enforcement, and ensuring good vehicle condition to reduce the risk factors that potentially contribute to mortality and morbidity in road traffic crashes in MTV drivers in Indian cities.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / economics
  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Automobile Driver Examination / psychology*
  • Automobile Driving / education
  • Automobile Driving / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Automobile Driving / psychology*
  • Equipment Failure
  • Female
  • Head Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Law Enforcement
  • Licensure*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motorcycles / standards
  • Motorcycles / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires