OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess the prevalence of drinking and driving on roadways in urban areas and highways in Cameroon, and to determine the associations between drinking and driving and socio-demographic factors.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study of motor vehicle drivers was performed on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between May and September 2020 with three driver groups: (1) random motor vehicle drivers (including riders) on major highways, (2) drivers recruited at car stations in Yaoundé, and (3) at fuel stations in Douala. Alcohol was measured using breathalyzers, and a questionnaire collected socio-demographic data.
RESULTS: In total, 2402 motor vehicle drivers were asked to participate in the study and 1701 (70.8%) gave informed consent. The vast majority (98.6%) were men. Drivers aged 30-39 years constituted the largest age group on highways and in Yaoundé, whereas 18-29 years was the largest age group in Douala. The highest prevalence of alcohol was observed among drivers in Yaoundé, which included mainly clandestine taxi car drivers and motorcycle taxi riders, where about 30% had blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) above the legal limit of 0.08%. The proportion with BACs above the legal limit was about 6% among the drivers in Douala, which included mainly motorcycle taxi riders, and about 4% among drivers on highways.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings indicate that drinking and driving is a major traffic safety problem on Cameroonian public roads, especially among motorcycle taxi riders and clandestine taxi drivers in towns, which represent the major mass transportation means in the country. Drinking and driving education and legislation should be better developed and enforced in order to reduce the number road traffic crashes.
- drinking and driving
- roadside survey
- blood alcohol concentration