Objective: Road traffic injuries (RTI) cause ∼1.2 million deaths and 50 million injuries annually, disproportionately occurring in low- and middle-income countries. Although policy changes and infrastructural developments have continued to contribute to the decrease in RTI-related deaths, limited studies have investigated the relationship between motorcycle taxi driver behaviors and RTIs in Rwanda. This study aims to describe the safety behaviors of commercial motorcyclists in Kigali, Rwanda.Methods: We surveyed 609 commercial motorcyclists in January 2014 then conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the results, including descriptive and bivariate logistic regression analyses.Results: We found that 38.7% of surveyed motorcycle drivers experienced a crash during their lifetime, of which, more than half (n = 134, 56.8%) suffered injuries. Of all injuries, 38.8% (n = 52) resulted in hospitalization, and 14.2% (n = 19) in disability. Among motorcyclists, 100% reported always wearing a helmet, 99% reported always wearing a chin strap, and 98.8% reported always having a passenger helmet. There was an association between sustaining a crash and believing that helmets (p = 0.08) and chin straps (p = 0.05) reduced crash risk.Conclusions: Rwandan commercial motorcyclists demonstrate generally proper safety behaviors, but remain a high-risk occupational group. Road safety policy initiatives have been effective in changing driver behavior regardless of driver safety beliefs.
Keywords: Road traffic injury; Rwanda; behavior; motorcycle; safety.