Objective To study the pattern of injuries and some causative factors of three-wheeler related accidents.
Design Prospective descriptive study.
Setting Accident unit, Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Kalubowila.
Methods One hundred patients admitted to Colombo South Teaching Hospital with three-wheeler related accidents were interviewed, examined within 24 hours of admission and followed up by using a standard questionnaire. Detailed descriptions of the accident and the types of injuries were recorded.
Results 54 accidents took place during daytime 07.00h to 19.00h) and the passengers were the commonest victims (40%). Soft tissue injury was the commonest injury observed (75%). The second commonest type of injurity was long bone fractures (21%). Toppling due to a sudden turn of the vehicle accounted for 30% of accidents. Of 28 drivers in the study group, 25 admitted breaking the handlelock to increase the vehicle's turning angle. Toppling due to a sudden turn was identified as the cause of the accident in all those who had interfered with the handle-lock. At the time of the accident, 89% of the drivers and 28.1% of pedestrians were under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol was related to 67.4% of the night accidents.
Conclusions Alcohol consumption was recognised as a major contributory factor, in particular for night accidents. A strong association was observed between mechanical alteration of the vehicle's handle-lock and the risk of accident. Introduction of legislation to prohibit handle-lock alteration and strict implementation of the law regarding driving under the influence of alcohol would help to reduce three-wheeler related accidents.
How to Cite:
de Silva, M., Nellihala, L. and Fernando, D., 2014. Pattern of accidents and injuries involving three-wheelers. Ceylon Medical Journal, 46(1), pp.15–16. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v46i1.6517