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A. Taiwo1, O. Atibioke2, E. Chinyio1

1University of Wolverhampton (UNITED KINGDOM)
2University of Ibadan (NIGERIA)
Traffic accidents contribute to injuries, deaths and disability globally, especially in developing countries. While most developed countries have data banks for effective road traffic planning, design and safety, there is a relative paucity of empirical studies in developing countries which especially concentrate on the personal factors and lifestyle of road users. As user-behaviour is an important element in road provision and sustenance, teaching and research ought to factor it in pedagogy.

WHO (2009) crash statistics comparisons showed Nigeria as the country with the highest rate of fatal road traffic crashes (33.7 deaths per 100,000 population per year) in the world, with young men between the ages of 15-44 constituting 62% of all deaths. Drunk-driving has been implicated as a major cause. An underlying study which examined the patterns of alcohol drinking and psychological wellbeing of commercial-drivers and motorbike-carriers in Ibadan metropolis in Nigeria was carried out to: demonstrate how adverse psychological states and drink-driving of road transport users can hamper efforts with road provision and safety; enhance a more holistic transportation policy; and, contribute to research informed-teaching.

Design of the underlying study:
The study was mainly descriptive and adopted a cross-sectional survey design.

285 male volunteers were purposively sampled (consisting of 183 Commercial-drivers and 102 motorbike-carriers) and administered measures of socio-demographic factors, as well as the Eysenck Personality Inventory and Zung Self-rating Anxiety scale. Data was collected from the major (motor) parks across the city. The study followed all the necessary ethical procedures. Data were analysed by descriptive and inferential statistics.

The Chi square analysis showed a significant relationship between the two groups of road transport users and frequency of drinks: X2(8, 285) = 49.2; p<.001). The trend showed that commercial-drivers consume unbranded alcohol more than the motorbike-carriers, but more motorbike-carriers tend to take mixtures of branded and unbranded alcohol than commercial drivers. There were significant inverse relationships between the participants’ onset-age of alcohol consumption and their scores on the neuroticism and anxiety scales. However, a significant positive relationship was observed between depression and current age.

Impact of the findings on pedagogy:
Indiscriminate consumption of various alcohol products is frequent among Nigerian commercial-road-transport-users and this affects their psychopathology. There is a need for the greater enforcement of drink limits and design of programmes that will target the psychological wellbeing of commercial road transport users in the Nigerian community. This, coupled with other road safety measures could enhance safety for other road users and commuters. A broader approach where the providers of infrastructures should understand the behavioural rationale of users and its impact on the facilities should extend to the classroom. This study therefore supports the researchers’ concept of Psycon (Psychology in Construction) as a pedagogic initiative. Psycon aims to answer the questions: how can the teaching of behavioural issues be enhanced in construction?; how can cross-disciplinary research by scholars from psychology and construction improve the provision and use of public facilities like roads?