BMC Public Health (Oct 2021)

Risky motorcycle riding behaviour among young riders in Manipal, India

  • Kumar Sumit,
  • Veerle Ross,
  • Kris Brijs,
  • Geert Wets,
  • Robert A. C. Ruiter

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 21, no. 1
pp. 1 – 14


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Abstract Background Motorcycles are one of the most commonly used transportation modes in low and middle-income countries. In India, motorized two-wheelers comprise 70% of the total vehicle population, and motorcycle users are considered the most vulnerable road users. It is essential to understand the risky riding behaviour and associated factors among the motorcyclists to develop evidence-based traffic safety programs targeting motorcycle riders. The purpose of the current study was two-fold. First, it aimed to determine the appropriate structure of a modified version of the MRBQ among young riders in Manipal, India. Second, it assessed to what extent MRBQ factors were associated with self-reported crash involvement and violations. Methods The motorcycle rider behaviour questionnaire (MRBQ) is a 43-item scale that assesses five aspects of risky motorcycle rider behaviour, i.e., violations, control errors, traffic errors, stunts, and protective equipment. The MRBQ, along with measures of socio-demographic variables and the number of motorcycle crashes, was filled out by 300 young motorcycle riders who were in the age group of 18–25 years and had been riding for at least the past three years (93% males, 92.3% students). Results Five factors emerged out of the MRBQ after an exploratory factor analysis: traffic errors, control errors, stunts, protective equipment, and violations. Cronbach’s alpha for these factors ranged from .66 to .82. Reports of performing stunts and committing violations were positively associated with self-reported near-crash experiences over the past three months. Riders reporting stunts, violations and using a motorcycle of 125-200 cc reported having received more fines in the last three months. These findings were confirmed in both univariate and multivariate binary logistic regression models. Conclusion The study assessed the factor structure of a modified version MRBQ and the extracted factors associations with self-reported crash involvement. The factor structure revealed in the current study is consistent with MRBQ factor structures found in other countries. However, the support for a relationship between MRBQ factors and self-reported crashes was less significant. The findings suggest that if replicated by future studies, local policymakers are advised to focus on the five MRBQ factors while planning future interventions to achieve a reduction in the number of road crashes among motorcyclists.