ABSTRACT: This study examines the rate of helmet use and identifies barriers and facilitators of wearing helmets among Iranian motorcyclists. A mixed-method approach was used, including a structured seasonal survey with specific observations of a random sample of 6010 riders and qualitative methods that included 29 in-depth interviews and seven focus groups (n=31).
Only 10% of motorcyclists wear a standard helmet while riding. However, another 23% of motorcyclists used non-standard or partial helmets that covered only part of the head and do not prevent head trauma injuries effectively. We observed only 2 of 264 child passengers and 22 of 1951 adult passengers wearing helmets. Almost no one used protective pants or clothing made to be more visible in traffic. Themes emerged from qualitative interviews and were grouped into three main categories: (1) helmet characteristics; (2) social and cultural factors; and (3) personal and psychological factors.
Overall, the motorcyclists in our study believed that wearing a safety helmet protects them against serious injuries or death during a crash; however, only a small percentage of the motorcyclists used safety helmets. National intervention programs addressing motorcycle safety should aim to overcome barriers to and promote facilitators of helmet use, including providing inexpensive standard helmets, banning manufacturing/using unsafe partial or dummy helmets, as well as enforcing helmet use on a consistent basis.
Accident; analysis and prevention 07/2011; 43(4):1562-9. · 1.65 Impact Factor