Factors influencing accident rates among motorcycle operators in Kisii town
This study was conducted to investigate factors influencing accident rates among boda boda operators in Kisii Town, Kisii County. Motorcycles offer a number of advantages over other means of transport ranging from affordability to flexibility but exposes travellers to risks of accidents. Taxi motorcycle accidents are becoming a common phenomenon in this country with escalations in Kisii County pointing to the alarming rate of these accidents. The study sought purposely to determine factors that influence taxi motorcycle accidents. The four factors as spelt out in the objectives of this study were as follows: To examine the influence of training on motorcycle accident rates, To determine the influence of Alcohol and substance abuse on accident rates among motorcycle operators, to establish how road and weather conditions influence accident rates among motorcycle operators, and To assess how Institutional constraints influences the accident rates among motorcycle operators in Kisii town. The study would contribute to the understanding and identification of the factors underlying motorcycle accidents with possible solutions suggested on how to minimize the accident rates. This knowledge was assumed to be of great benefit for the motorists, the traffic police, policy makers, passengers and the general public as a whole. The study was guided by the following assumptions that; the respondents would be willing and ready to give honest and reliable information. That the sample size that would be used would be the right representative of the population under study, and that the research tools that would be used would yield consistent and valid results. The study employed systems theory. The study employed a descriptive survey research design and it targeted 285 motorcycle operators who were selected through simple random sampling technique. The questionnaires were the main data collection instruments. The data gathered was edited, analysed, and presented in frequency tables using SPSS computer package. Findings of the study indicated that some of the boda boda operators had no formal training on how to ride. The lack of training puts the operators in vulnerable state when operating the motorcycles on the roads. Riding under the influence of alcohol/substance abuse increased the chances of the riders being involved in accidents as this interfered with their ability to control their motorcycles and also leads to poor judgement on the road, poor state of roads and unfavorable weather conditions also influenced motorcycle accidents. Moreover, institutional constraints especially corrupt traffic police officers equally influence motorcycle accidents. From the findings, it was concluded that boda boda operators are surrounded by a host of factors that cause them to be involved in accidents. However, lack of proper training among the motorcycle operators was found to be an important determinant of motorcycle accident rates. In conclusion, most of the boda boda accidents are due to lack of training and awareness on road safety. Thus, there is urgent need for the operators to go to driving school, and also get awareness training on road safety. The County should provide continuous training and road safety awareness programmes for the operators. Above all the county government should factor in motorcycles when designing roads and preserve dropping and picking points to avoid illegal picking and dropping of passengers which is a risky practice.