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Prevalence and behavioral risk factors associated with road traffic accidents among medical students of Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain

Fatema Ahmed A. Rasool, Fatema Ali Alekri, Habib A. Nabi, Mohammed Jaffar Naiser, Noor Makki Shamlooh, Shaima Ali Alnashaba, Zahra Aqeel Alherz, Zahra S. Adnan Almosawi, Adel Salman Al Sayyad.

Background: Road traffic accidents are ranked by the World Health Organization as the 10th leading cause of death globally. An estimated 1.3 million people were killed annually in car crashes and as many as 50 million were injured in 2011. Road injuries are the second leading cause of death among people aged 20–24 years, particularly males.

Objective: To raise awareness about road traffic accidents and their causes and consequences among medical students in Arabian Gulf University (AGU) in Bahrain.

Materials and Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted in AGU, Bahrain, in the period between 22 September and 3 October, 2013. Medical students of AGU aged 20–24 years who drove in Bahrain during the period (January 2011–December 2012) were chosen. A total of 200 students were selected. A questionnaire was used to collect the demographic and driving behavior data for each participant. The data were entered and analyzed using SPSS program, version 18.

Results: Most of the students (73.4%) were involved in an accident during 2011. The most important leading cause of accidents was the other driver (48.1%). The majority of the students (42.3%) experienced both physical and psychological injuries. The data showed that driving at excess speed when in a hurry, crossing red traffic lights, and wearing seatbelts are statistically significant behavioral factors.

Conclusion: The prevalence of road traffic accidents is very high among medical students in AGU. The study revealed that the major cause of these accidents is attributed to the other driver. Of these accidents, 31.7% resulted in injuries; most of which were combined (physical and psychological).

Key words: Prevalence, risk factors, road traffic accidents, medical students, Bahrain

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