Evaluation of the Use and Reasons for Not Using a Helmet by Motorcyclists Admitted to the Emergency Ward of Shahid Bahonar Hospital in Kerman

Authors

1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Oral and Dental Diseases Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, IR Iran

2 Research Center for Health Services Management, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, IR Iran

3 Shahid Bahonar Hospital, Kerman, IR Iran

Abstract

Background
Motorcycle crashes are the cause of severe morbidity and mortality especially because of head injuries. It seems that wearing a helmet has an effective role in protection against head injuries. Nevertheless, motorcyclists usually have no tendency to wear a helmet when driving in cities and have several reasons for this behavior.


Objectives
This study aimed to evaluate the use and reasons for not using a helmet by motorcyclists admitted to an emergency ward of a trauma hospital due to accident in Kerman, Iran.


Patients and Methods
This study was carried out by recoding the opinions of motorcyclists who had been transferred to the emergency ward of Shahid Bahonar Hospital (Kerman/Iran). Since no data was available on the frequency of the use of helmets, a pilot study was carried out and a sample size of 377 was determined for the main study. Then a researcher-made questionnaire was used to investigate the motorcyclists’ reasons for not using a helmet.


Results
Only 21.5% of the motorcyclists had been wearing helmets at the time of the accident. The most frequent reasons for not using a helmet were the heavy weight of the helmet (77%), feeling of heat (71.4%), pain in the neck (69.4%), feeling of suffocation (67.7%), limitation of head and neck movements (59.6%) and all together, physical discomfort was the main cause of not wearing a helmet during motorcycle rides.


Conclusions
In general, it appears that it is possible to increase the use of helmets by eliminating its physical problems, and increasing the knowledge of community members in relation to the advantages of helmet use, which will result in a significant decrease in traumas resulting from motorcycle accidents.

Keywords