Open Access Peer-reviewed

I Love My Baby Even unto Death: Child Safety Restraint Use among Drivers in Gaborone, Botswana

Nicole M. Monteiro1,, Shyngle K. Balogun1, Kagiso N. Tlhabano1, Mpho Pheko1

1Department of Psychology, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana

American Journal of Rural Development. 2013, 1(4), 62-69. DOI: 10.12691/ajrd-1-4-1
Published online: August 25, 2017

Abstract

This study examined the use of child safety restraints by drivers transporting children in Gaborone, Botswana. We observed 518 vehicles (329 male drivers, 189 female drivers) carrying children at four different locations in Gaborone over four days. A team of 2-4 trained observers recorded whether the child was restrained or not, where they were seated in the car, the type of vehicle (private or commercial) and model of vehicle. Children were restrained in 111 (21.4%) of the observed vehicles and unrestrained in 407 (78.6%) of the observed vehicles. Additionally, male drivers were more likely than female drivers to have an unrestrained child (chi-square = 4.465, P=.04); commercial vehicles were more likely than private vehicles to have an unrestrained child (chi-square= 7.387, P=.01); SUVs were more likely to have a restrained child (chi-square = 17.499, P=.00); and children in the back seat of the vehicle were less likely to be restrained than children located in the front seat (chi-square = 49.036, P=.00). There was also a noted difference based on location (chi-square= 19.405, P=.00), indicating socioeconomic factors at play. Most drivers in Gaborone are not restraining children in vehicles. There seems to be a general lack of knowledge among drivers about the importance of child safety restraints. It is recommended that stakeholders work to raise awareness, enforce legislation and offer incentives and subsidies for car seat use in order to improve the safety of child passengers on Botswana’s expanding and developing roads.

Keywords:

Africa, Botswana, child safety, child restraint, driving behavior
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