The seat-belt dilemma: a qualitative analysis of the reasons for its use and non-use

Authors: Asif Ali , Muhammad Ismail Alvi , Malik Hidayatullah , Yaar Muhammad Khan , Jalal Shah ,Ahmed Ali
Int J Biol Med Res. 2012; 3(3): 2111-2115  |  PDF File

Abstract

Purpose: Though a significant amount of research throughout the world has been directed towards discovering why seat belts are not used [1-12], no similar study, according to our literature review, has been conducted in Pakistan. The purpose of this study is to find the reasons for the use and non-use of seat belts among young educated male adults of Peshawar (aged 22-25) (only college students have been interviewed in this study). Methods: Interviews and focus groups were held at the premises of Peshawar Medical College, the interviewees being students living in various parts of the city. Interviews were recorded in audio and later transcribed and analyzed thematically to inter-connect the reasons with each other and find meaningful patterns. Results: Reasons for non–use (categories): Reduced perception of risk at low velocity, Social pressure/peer pressure, Discomfort, Lack of awareness, Unavailability of seat belts. Reasons for use (categories): Personal awareness, Out of habit, Strict rules (especially on motorways), Parental guidance, Increased perception of risk at high speeds (highways). Conclusions: In their own words, ‘there is no trend of wearing seat-belts here’. There is a need to address the issue of social pressure in order to effectively tackle the issue of safety belt use here, plus there is a definite need for more detailed research here in this area. Also, much more of the population needs to be involved in any future similar study. Educating the public, especially the school going children, is a key step. Effective implementation of strict, unbiased laws is also of key importance.